Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection, the leading cause of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide, disproportionately affects Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) within the USA. Among APIs, the Hmong have one of the highest rates of chronic HBV infection—up to 18% compared to 0.1% for non-Hispanic Caucasians. This study sought to estimate the prevalence of HBV infection and assess the need for community HBV education within Milwaukee County’s Hmong.
Between 3/2013 and 12/2019, 287 Hmong participants were screened for HBV and 271 were provided targeted HBV education to evaluate its impact on HBV knowledge.
Among participants screened, 178 (62%) were immune; 77 (27%) susceptible; 27 (9%) positive; and 5 (2%) in a “gray zone.” Targeted health education showed statistically significant improvement in HBV knowledge.
With 38% lacking immunity to HBV and 9% with active infection, there remains a significant need for HBV screening, vaccination, and education in Milwaukee’s Hmong community.