A hepatitis B-screening outreach clinic for the Chinese community

Sara Davis
Sexual Health Nurse, 56 Dean Street Clinic, Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust

An estimated 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and more than 350 million have chronic infections. HBV infection is an established cause of both acute and chronic hepatitis. Chronic infection is the cause of most HBV-related mortality including chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Rates of chronically infected individuals are often asymptomatic and may not be aware that they are infected; however, they are capable of infecting others. Rates of chronic HBV infection are high. Approximately 45% of the global population lives in areas with a high prevalence of chronic infection, where 8% or more of the population is hepatitis B surface antigen positive [1].

The frequency of hepatitis B infection has risen substantially in the UK as a consequence of immigration [2]. In the UK, ethnic minority groups, including the Chinese community, have been highlighted in various studies as having significantly higher prevalence rates of hepatitis B and C than the White British population, and increased mortality as a result [3–5]. There are estimated to be 124,300 Chinese people living in London [6].

56 Dean Street is situated in close proximity to Chinatown, which is the cultural focal point of the Chinese community in London and is known to have the largest New Year celebrations outside Asia. Read more. . .