Novel community-based hepatitis b screening program among African immigrants
Methods: Between October 2011 and January 2013, our team administered a written questionnaire assessing demographics and risk factors and conducted serological hepatitis B testing for 422 African-born NYC residents. Patients with positive diagnoses were informed, counseled and linked to care at Mount Sinai Hospital via a PN.
Results: The overall prevalence of HBsAg was 11.6% (n=422), and 56.6% (n=239) were non-immune. Men were more likely to be positive for HBsAg than women (13.5% vs 5.2%, p=0.026), and were also more likely than women to have had HBV exposure (78.5% vs 56.3%, p=0.000), for which body piercings (p = 0.017) and tattooing (p= 0.032) were the only significant risk factors. All 49 positive patients were informed of their results by a culturally-targeted PN and 36 (73.4%) attended follow-up at Mount Sinai. Of two participants who were recommended for treatment and navigated to a partnering federally qualified health center, one began treatment.
Conclusions: High CHB prevalence among African immigrants underscores a need for further screening in this population. This study also shows a significant opportunity for vaccination in this population, and demonstrates the effectiveness of culturally-targeted PNs in linking at-risk Africans to hepatitis care.
Learning Areas:Chronic disease management and prevention
Describe the need for further hepatitis screening in at-risk African populations living in the United States Describe the role of culturally-targeted patient navigators in facilitating access to hepatitis care for at-risk African persons
Keyword(s): Access to Health Care, Hepatitis B
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Demetri Blanas is an intern in the Harlem Residency in Family Medicine at the Institute for Family Health. He received a BA from Columbia University, an MD and MPH from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and is a National Health Service Corps Scholar. He also completed a Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship at the African Services Committee and has published on malaria control in West Africa and HIV among African-born US residents.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.