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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors of Hepatitis B Screening and Vaccination and Liver Cancer Risks Among Vietnamese Americans

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection is a serious health problem among Asian Americans. Vietnamese Americans are disproportionately affected by liver cancer compared with other racial and ethnic groups. Vietnamese males have the highest incidence of liver cancer of any racial group; incidence of liver cancer among Vietnamese males is 11 times higher than among White males. Nearly 80% of liver cancer is attributed to HBV. This study measured knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to HBV screening and vaccination. The study was conducted among 256 Vietnamese Americans in the greater Philadelphia and New Jersey area, with a large number of underserved, recent immigrants with low socioeconomic status and limited English proficiency. Participants were recruited from Vietnamese community-based organizations. Overall, 46.3% of the sample had heard of HBV or knew about the availability of screening (32.6%) or vaccination (35.5%) while 7.5% were ever screened and 6.3% had been vaccinated. Community-based, culturally appropriate interventions for Vietnamese Americans and health care providers should increase screening and vaccination rates.