It is vital that we improve hepatitis B screening and access to care in our high-risk African communities across the U.S. To do this, we need to work together! Everyone has an important role to play, from community and religious leaders, to health care providers, to business owners. Here are some of the things that you can do in your own communities:
For Community Leaders and Community-Based Organizations
- Host a community health forum on hepatitis B. You can use the CHIPO Powerpoint presentations to introduce hepatitis B as a health issue that needs to be addressed.
- Find a local Hep B United coalition that conducts community screening and education, and talk about how you can work together to conduct community events.
- Start the conversation! Talk to your friends, family members and colleagues about the importance of getting tested for hepatitis B. You can use our patient story videos to help start the conversation at events – read Bunmi’s and Williams’ story here!
- Advocate for increased hepatitis B testing in your local community – talk to your health department, and local, city or state government officials to let them know that hepatitis B is an important health issue.
- Join CHIPO! There is strength in numbers, and we welcome all who are interested in helping us improve testing and care among African communities in the U.S. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join our coalition.
Get tested for hepatitis B! If you find that you are not infected, but are still vulnerable to infection, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis B vaccine to protect you. Because hepatitis B is more common among African communities in the U.S., it is important that people who were born in Africa, or whose parents were born in Africa, be tested for hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis B is a silent disease, and most people feel well when they are infected, even when the virus is damaging the liver. The CDC has a quick and simple risk assessment that you can take to help you figure out whether you should be tested for hepatitis B.