(BPT) - More than 1 million Americans have a lifelong, or chronic, infection of hepatitis B. This includes one out of every 12 Asian Americans. If you or your parents were born in Asia or the Pacific Islands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you get tested for hepatitis B.Hepatitis B is common in many parts of the world and spreads easily. Many people with chronic hepatitis B got the virus as infants or young children when they came into contact with blood or other body fluids of someone with the virus.
“Asian American and Pacific Islanders make up 5 percent of the total population in the United States, but account for more than 50 percent of Americans living with chronic hepatitis B,” says Joan Block, executive director of the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) and co-chair of Hep B United, a national campaign to address and eliminate hepatitis B. “Testing for hepatitis B could save your life.”
Here are five reasons why you should get tested for hepatitis B: