Hepatitis B Knowledge and Practices among Chinese Immigrants to the United States


Introduction: Chinese immigrants to the United States experience high rates of liver cancer. Chronic carriage ofhepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common underlying cause of liver cancer among Chinese Americans. Our objectivewas to describe Chinese immigrants’ hepatitis B knowledge, testing, and vaccination levels.
Methods: A communitybased,in-person survey of Chinese men and women was conducted in Seattle during 2005. Our study sample included395 individuals.
Results: Less than one-half (48%) of our study group indicated they had received a hepatitis B bloodtest, and about one-third (31%) indicated they had been vaccinated against hepatitis B. The proportions of respondentswho knew HBV can be spread during childbirth, during sexual intercourse, and by sharing razors were 70%, 54%,and 55%, respectively. Less than one-quarter of the study group knew that HBV cannot be spread by eating foodthat was prepared by an infected person (23%) and by sharing eating utensils with an infected person (16%).Discussion: Over 50% of our respondents did not recall being tested for HBV. Important knowledge deficits aboutroutes of hepatitis B transmission were identified. Continued efforts should be made to develop and implementhepatitis B educational campaigns for Chinese immigrant communities.