CDC now recommends one-time hepatitis C testing of all adults (18 years and older) and all pregnant women during every pregnancy. CDC continues to recommend people with risk factors, including people who inject drugs, be tested regularly.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Chronic Hepatitis B
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) make up 5% of the total population in the United States, but account for more than 50% of 862,000 Americans living with chronic hepatitis B.
- The burden of chronic hepatitis B in the US is greater among people born in regions of the world with high or moderate prevalence of chronic hepatitis B, including much of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
- Nearly 70% of Asian Americans are foreign-born and estimates have found that approximately 58% of foreign-born people with chronic hepatitis B are from Asia
- Left untreated, approximately 15% to 25% of those with chronic hepatitis B infection develop serious liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver damage, and even liver cancer
Hepatitis B Testing Recommendations for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for:
- All people born in regions of the world with high or moderate rates of hepatitis B. This includes all countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands
- All people born in the United States, who were not vaccinated at birth, and who have at least one parent born in a country with high hepatitis B rates. This includes all countries in East and Southeast Asia, except for Japan, and the Pacific Islands
- Household contacts and sexual partners of people with hepatitis B.
For additional information on other groups that should be tested for hepatitis B, see: Recommendations for Identification and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection pdf icon[PDF – 28 pages]
Rationale for the Recommendation
- At least one-third of Asian Americans living in the United States are unaware of their chronic hepatitis B infection
- Prompt identification of chronic hepatitis B infection is essential to ensure infected people receive necessary care to prevent or delay onset of liver disease and services to prevent transmission to others
- Chronically infected patients have years of life to gain if medical evaluation and/or treatment is initiated early, before symptoms occur
- Multiple medications have been approved for treatment of adults with chronic hepatitis B
- Identifying people with chronic hepatitis B also allows for primary and secondary prevention. Close contacts can benefit from vaccination if never infected, or medical management if living chronic hepatitis B.
Guidelines and Recommendations
Chronic Hepatitis B Testing
- Recommendations for Identification and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection pdf icon[PDF 28 pages]
- U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) – Screening for Hepatitis B Virus Infectionexternal icon
Hepatitis B Vaccination
- Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
MMWR 2018;67(No. RR-1):1–31
Healthcare Provider Resources
- AASLD: Update on prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of chronic hepatitis B: AASLD 2018 hepatitis B guidanceexternal icon
- Testing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for Hepatitis B pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages]
- Geographic Distribution of Chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Infection pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]
- Hepatitis B Information for Health Professionals
- Testing Recommendations for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
- Recommendations for Routine Testing and Follow-up for Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection
Printable document pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages]
- Interpretation of Hepatitis B Serologic Test Results pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]