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.
An estimated 35,000 new diagnoses of acute HBV infection were established in the United States in 2010. This represents a decline of nearly 80% when compared with the rate of new HBV infections in the early 1990s before implementation of HBV vaccination programs. When examining incidence rates stratified by race and ethnicity, African Americans have the highest incidence of acute HBV infection, with 1.7 cases per 100,000 persons reported in 2010.
According to CDC, the following people from Africa should get tested for Hepatitis B:
It’s important for people to know if they have Hepatitis B. There are treatments available for Hepatitis B that can help prevent serious health problems. People who find out they have Hepatitis B can also take steps to prevent passing the virus to others. Family members and sexual partners can get the Hepatitis B vaccine to protect them from getting the virus. For more information - Know More Hepatitis: Fact Sheet on the Campaign [PDF - 2 pages].
In April 2016, WHO updated its "Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with chronic hepatitis C". These guidelines complement existing WHO guidance on the prevention of transmission of blood-borne viruses, including HCV. These guidelines will help expand of treatment services to patients with HCV infection, as they provide key recommendations in these areas and discuss considerations for implementation. Guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of persons with Chronic Hepatitis C.