On Monday, May 26th, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) published its final recommendation statement on screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in individuals at high risk. This recommendation includes adults and adolescents who are not pregnant and who have not been vaccinated, as well as other individuals at high risk for infection. After reviewing the evidence, the Task Force recommends screening people who have the following risk factors for HBV infection:
– People born in countries and regions with a high prevalence of HBV infection, such as Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, China, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the northern countries in South America; and
– U.S.-born persons not vaccinated as infants whose parents were born in countries or regions with a high prevalence of HBV infection
This recommendation is a critical breakthrough for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population in particular, which comprise 5% of the total population in the United States, but account for more than 50% of Americans living with chronic hepatitis B.
The final USPSTF “B grade”recommendation applies to non-pregnant teens and adults at high risk of ecoming infected with hepatitis B. Those at high risk for infection include people born in countries here the prevalence of hepatitis B is greater than 2%, people born in the U.S. who were not vaccinated in infancy and whose parents are from a country with a high prevalence.
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