Knowledge of hepatitis B risk factors and prevention practices among individuals chronically infected with hepatitis B in San Francisco, California

J Community Health. 2012 Feb;37(1):153-8. doi: 10.1007/s10900-011-9430-2.


Asian/Pacific Islanders (A/PIs) in the United States are disproportionately affected by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can cause a lifelong liver infection that may result in cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, or death. Although previous studies have measured knowledge of hepatitis B transmission and prevention practices in A/PI communities, we present results from the first population-based study of this type, which specifically focuses on A/PIs who are chronically infected with HBV. Through telephone interviews, we assessed the HBV risk factor knowledge and prevention practices of a population-based, random sample of persons with chronic HBV who were reported to the San Francisco Department of Public Health between October 2007 and July 2009. Among 829 respondents, 67% were foreign born A/PIs of Chinese ethnicity who did not speak English as their primary language. Among all respondents, 75% were unable to identify how they acquired HBV, and 41% said that they do nothing to prevent transmission of HBV to their close contacts. Knowledge of HBV risk factors and recommended prevention practices was poor among A/PIs who are chronically infected with HBV and who may transmit the infection to others.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice / ethnology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / ethnology*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • San Francisco
  • Young Adult