It was advertised widely throughout the school and, during that evening, at least fifty students were educated and thirty-seven were screened. Education was delivered through brochures, a trivia game, a slide show, and a health education board. With music playing in the background, some students won either an HBI-DC mug or T-shirt by playing the trivia game with Soo Yee (health education specialist) and Emmeline Ha (GWU medical student). In addition, Michelle Cochran, a nurse practitioner from the Colonial Health Center, and other HBI-DC staff members were present to address any concerns.
On Tuesday, April 4th, George Washington University students and community members from the District of Columbia attended the free Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV screening and education event at the GWU’s Marvin Center. The event started at 6pm, but there were already a few people waiting outside the doors beforehand.
The event was a collaboration between the Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington DC (HBI-DC), the Majors Office of Asian American & Pacific Islander affairs (MOAPIA), GWU Multicultural Association of Premed Students (MAPS), the Public Health Student Association (PHSA), and the GWU Colonial Health Center.
Sylvia, the phlebotomist worked around the clock, and had some students smiling and laughing at the end of their session. A professional photographer and videographer was present to record the event, which will be available to the public in a few days. Overall, the screening at GWU ended on a high note. A couple told Jane Pan, HBI-DC’s Executive Director, that this free screening was the answer to their prayers.
The Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Virus (HBV and HCV) can cause Chronic Hepatitis, in which the disease gets to be deep rooted. This leads to liver damage and other major liver infections and diseases. Hepatitis B if found early can be vaccinated, unlike Hepatitis C which has no vaccine but has treatment.
Viral Hepatitis can impact the African American population more frequently than other groups. Education is very important for prevention, treatment, and identifying symptoms.
In the United States, HCV and HBV infection is highly prevalent in the African American population compared with other racial groups, and thus African Americans represent a group disproportionately affected by this disease.
In NHANES III data, inclusive of years 1988 through 1994, it was estimated that approximately 3.9 million Americans, or 1.8% of the U.S. population, had been exposed and 2.7 million, or 74%, chronically infected with HCV. African Americans had the highest prevalence of HCV exposure, equating to 3.2% of the population screened.