UCLA'S ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN NEWSMAGAZINE

Hepatitis B: do you know your status?

In Health on January 31, 2009 at 9:52 pm

According to the American Liver Foundation, “Hepatitis B is a serious disease that affects one out of ten Asian Americans and their families. Among immigrants, the prevalance can be as high as one in seven.”

Sounds scary, huh?  But we college students got the vaccinations in high school, so we don’t have to worry, right?

Maybe not.

One of my Asian American peers was vaccinated for the virus before college but recently found out she has chronic Hepatitis B. How did this happen?

Her mother had passed along the virus to her, and because she did not receive the vaccination until later in life, it was too late.

At checkups I’ve never asked my doctor what she looks for when she takes my blood sample. Has she been checking for Hepatitis B?

Next time I plan to ask.

–posted by Debbie Chong

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