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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

CANADA: Most Hepatitis B Carriers Aren't Being Treated, Survey Finds


Vancouver Sun (05.30.12)

Most Asian Canadians who are aware of their chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection are not receiving medical treatment, according to survey results from the Chinese advocacy group S.U.C.C.E.S.S. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. conducted telephone interviews of 1,000 people in April. The results showed that 49 percent of respondents had been tested for HBV, but 70 percent of those diagnosed with it were not being treated by a doctor, and 88 percent were not on medication for the infection. About 15 percent of Asian immigrants to Canada are HBV-infected, compared to 1 percent of Canadians. HBV may show few symptoms and remain undetected for years; it often passes from mother to baby at birth. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. aims to boost awareness to reduce suffering and associated health care costs. There are currently upwards of 60,000 chronic HBV cases in metro Vancouver, with approximately 1,300 new cases reported in 2009. School immunization programs are expected eventually to eradicate HBV in Canada. While similar efforts are underway in Asia, they are not as widespread. Conducted in seven languages, the S.U.C.C.E.S.S. survey focused on people from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Burma, and the Philippines.


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