Hepatitis National Pledge
What is the APAMSA Hepatitis B Pledge?
To celebrate Hepatitis Awareness Month this year, we are launching the APAMSA Hepatitis B Pledge. The APAMSA Hepatitis B Pledge is a pledge to screen your patients for hepatitis B both during medical school and during your career as a physician. Our hope is that this pledge will rally our community and bring awareness to screening for Hepatitis B and to encourage medical students to develop habits of screening they can bring with them in their career as a physician.
This pledge was inspired by conversations with Asian Liver Center and SF Hep B Free – Bay Area, who have had a successful Clinician Hepatitis B Honor Roll. Click here for more information.
Who should be screened for Hepatitis B?
According to the CDC, all newly arriving refugees born in or have lived in countries with intermediate or high prevalence of hepatitis B should be screened for hepatitis B infection with HBsAg, HBsAb, and HBcAb. Do not forget patients born outside of the US but immigrated to the US at a very young age (birth to 3 years old) as often these patients believe they were falsely vaccinated in school and/or don’t identify as immigrants themselves. Additionally, all adults >=18 years old who were born in or lived in countries with low prevalence of chronic hepatitis B should be screened if they belong to the following risk groups:
Men who have sex with men
People with multiple sex partners or history of sexual exploitation
People with history of injection drug use
People living with HIV
Household contacts of people with chronic HBV infection
Subpopulations with prevalence rates >= 2% (ex/ indigenous populations, ethnic minorities)
People who have received whole blood or blood product transfusions before migration
People with elevated liver enzymes of unknown etiology
People with medical conditions requiring immunosuppresive therapy
Adults with diabetes under 60 years old
This information was directly pulled from the CDC website. For more information about screening guidelines including guidelines for children and other populations, please check out the following resources:
What are screening risk assessment tools?
Check out the following Hepatitis B risk assessment tools to help in your screening efforts!
CDC Hepatitis B Risk Assessment is a half page questionnaire available in multiple languages to assess if patients should be tested for Hepatitis B.
Asian Liver Center has an online tool to quickly assess patients who should be tested for Hepatitis B based on country of origin, parent’s country of origin, and vaccination status.