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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update
UNITED STATES: CDC Launches First National HBV Testing Campaign for Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders

<p>Staff Writer</p>

June 17, 2013

Infection Control Today (06.14.2013)

CDC has partnered with Hep B United to develop and launch "Know Hepatitis B," a national, multi-year communications campaign that aims to increase hepatitis B virus (HBV) testing among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The campaign, developed with input from Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, will share culturally competent messages in English, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese; messaging will focus on strong family ties common among these populations. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders account for more than half of the 1.2 million HBV-infected Americans, although they comprise only 5 percent of the US population.

HBV is very common in some Asian and Pacific Island countries; many people born in these countries became HBV-infected as infants or young children. Because HBV may have no symptoms for many years, two out of three HBV-infected individuals may be unaware of their infection. Left untreated, HBV can cause liver damage, but treatment can "delay or reverse" liver disease.

Howard Koh, MD, assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, advised every American born in Asia or the Pacific Islands or born to parents from these countries to be tested for HBV. The Know Hepatitis B campaign channels will include media outlets serving Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities, social media and digital materials, Hep B United and local partners' outreach to local communities, and outreach to healthcare professionals.