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Hepatitis B Sero-Prevalence and Risk Behaviors Among Immigrant Men in a Population-Based Household Survey in Low-Income Neighborhoods of Northern California

  • Author(s): Levy, Vivian
  • Yuan, Jinwei
  • Ruiz, Juan
  • Morrow, Scott
  • Reardon, Juan
  • Facer, Mathew
  • Molitor, Fred
  • Allen, Barbara
  • Ajufo, Barbara Green
  • Bell-Sanford, Geneva
  • McFarland, Willi
  • Raymond, Henry F.
  • Kellogg, Tim
  • Page, Kimberly
  • et al.
Abstract

Background Despite an effective vaccine, 60,000 new HBV infections were reported in the US in 2004; 95% in adults. We evaluate HBV sero-prevalence, risk behaviors and self-reported vaccination among Latino immigrant, Asian immigrant and US born low income men in five northern California counties. Methods Population based, cross sectional survey of HBV sero-prevalence and risk behaviors in men aged 18 to 35 years. Results Among 1,512 men screened, Asian immigrants were most likely to have had prior HBV infection (15.1%) and chronic infection (3.8%) compared to US born (prior 5.1%, chronic 0.6%) and Latino immigrant men (prior 2.0%, chronic 0.3%.) Reported HBV vaccination was lowest for Latino immigrants (12%) compared to Asian immigrants and US born men (35% in both.) Latino immigrants reported less educational attainment, medical insurance coverage and access to a physician in the last six months. Discussion Healthcare providers should routinely screen Asian immigrants for HBV regardless of their self reported vaccination status. Latino immigrants may comprise an important group of under-vaccinated, at risk persons in California. HBV testing and vaccination of immigrants soon after US arrival should be encouraged.

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