Posted June 5, 2013 by Sean Blackmore in Community

Five reasons Asian Americans should get tested for hepatitis B

Far more than 1 million Americans have a lifelong, or chronic, infection of hepatitis B. This consists of one out of each 12 Asian Americans. If you or your parents had been born in Asia or the Pacific Islands, the Centers for Disease Manage and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get tested for hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is widespread in many components of the world and spreads very easily. Many individuals with chronic hepatitis B got the virus as infants or young kids when they came into make contact with with blood or other body fluids of somebody with the virus.

&ldquoAsian American and Pacific Islanders make up 5 % of the total population in the United States, but account for much more than 50 percent of Americans living with chronic hepatitis B,&rdquo says Joan Block, executive director of the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) and co-chair of Hep B United, a national campaign to address and remove hepatitis B. &ldquoTesting for hepatitis B could save your life.&rdquo

Here are 5 motives why you need to get tested for hepatitis B:

1. Hepatitis B is severe

In the United States, chronic hepatitis B infection results in thousands of deaths per year. If left untreated, up to 25 percent of people with hepatitis B develop serious liver troubles such as cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Liver cancer brought on by the hepatitis B virus is a leading trigger of cancer deaths amongst Asian Americans.

2. Two out of 3 Asian Americans with hepatitis B don&rsquot know they are infected

People can reside with hepatitis B without having obtaining any symptoms or feeling sick. Frequently, people don&rsquot know they have hepatitis B till they have been tested.

&ldquoA staggering two out of 3 Asian Americans living with chronic hepatitis B do not know they are infected,&rdquo says Block. &ldquoGetting a straightforward blood test is the only way to know if you have been infected with the virus.&rdquo

three. Treatment options can be lifesaving

Testing can help some people uncover out if they have hepatitis B in time to advantage from health-related care and remedies that can save their lives. For several, therapies can assist avert critical liver damage. &nbsp

&ldquoBecause of the higher price of infection among Asian Americans, testing amongst this population is critical to identify men and women living with chronic hepatitis B and support them access lifesaving health-related care,&rdquo says Jeffrey Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Neighborhood Wellness Organizations (AAPCHO) and co-chair of Hep B United.

four. The vaccine can defend men and women who have not been infected with hepatitis B

The hepatitis B vaccine is effective and can avoid numerous men and women from acquiring hepatitis B. Men and women who get tested and do not have hepatitis B can get the hepatitis B vaccine. This protects them from receiving the virus. &nbsp

Nevertheless, the vaccine can’t aid people who already have hepatitis B. A lot of men and women with chronic hepatitis B have been infected as infants or young young children, ahead of the hepatitis B vaccine was extensively accessible. Hepatitis B spreads simply by way of blood or other physique fluids, from somebody who has hepatitis B, such as from an infected mother to her child at birth. Today, the CDC recommends the hepatitis B vaccine for all babies born in the United States, as effectively as anyone else at danger for hepatitis B.

five. Men and women who have hepatitis B can help shield their family members&nbsp &nbsp

Individuals who get tested and locate out they have hepatitis B can encourage hepatitis B testing for family members and anyone living with them. Vaccinating family members members who do not have hepatitis B can prevent further spread of the virus.

&ldquoTesting can also aid determine other people, such as household members or sexual partners, who may possibly be at risk for getting the illness,&rdquo says Caballero. &ldquoRemember, loving your family members starts with caring for yourself, so talk to your medical doctor about obtaining tested for hepatitis B.&rdquo

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Sean Blackmore