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Hepatitis B and the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Community

350-400 million people in the world are chronically infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis B takes a life every 30 seconds. Most of these lives are Asian.

Geographic distribution of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBC) infection – worldwide, 2006* (Source: CDC)


* For multiple countries, estimates of prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), a marker of chronic HBV infection, are based on limited data and might not reflect current prevalence in countries that have implemented childhood hepatitis B vaccination. In addition, HBsAg prevalence might vary within countries by subpopulation and locality.
Source: CDC

1 in 12 Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) immigrant adults are chronically infected with hepatitis B in the US. 

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders tend to be infected at a much higher rate, with 1 in 12 immigrant adults chronically infected with hepatitis B, compared to 1 in 1000 non-Hispanic white Americans. Without treatment or monitoring, 1 in 4 of these individuals will die from liver cancer or liver failure. Many die at the prime of their lives and as early as 30 years of age, leaving behind family members and children. 

Chronic hepatitis B is responsible for 80% of all primary liver cancer worldwide. Liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Asian American men. API's have the highest rate of liver cancer of any race/ethnic group. 

In California alone liver cancer is the #1 leading cause of cancer deaths among Laotian American men, the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths among Cambodian and Vietnamese men, the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths among Chinese and Korean men, and the 5th leading cause of deaths among Filipino men. 

To learn more about HBV and liver cancer in API Americans, vist the CDCs info page here.


Should I be Tested?

Since March 2023, the CDC updated their recommendation that all adults get tested for hepatitis B at least once. 

Hepatitis B
Info Sheet
Check out the CDC's info sheet on who should be tested for Hep B.

Get Tested Now

If you think you or a loved one is at risk, find a low-cost testing site today.

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