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U.S. News

Ohio: Akron-Based Group Gets $600,000 Health Grant to Assist Asians

February 15, 2008

While Asian Americans are less likely than other Americans to smoke, be obese, or have hypertension, they are also less likely to be screened for HIV or cancers. In addition, they are much likelier to have hepatitis B.

The Akron-based group Asian Services in Action (ASIA) will address these issues with the help of a $600,000 grant from the Asian & Pacific-Islander American Health Forum and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Managing the grant for the Ohio Asian American Health Coalition (OAAHC), ASIA will work in Akron, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati.

A major focus of the work will be hepatitis B virus (HBV), which about 10 percent of Asian Americans have, compared to just 0.1 percent of whites, said Michael Byun, OAAHC's chairperson. "It's a silent killer in our community, especially internationally."

Though HBV can be sexually transmitted, the main modes for the Asian community are mother-to-child during pregnancy and between siblings by sharing toothbrushes or razors, said Byun. In addition, many recent immigrants do not know they have the blood-borne virus. "That's a very important issue in our community."

ASIA will especially liaise with physicians and other health professionals, and educate Asian Americans about the need to screen for HBV, Byun said.

Back to other news for February 2008

Adapted from:
Akron Beacon Journal
02.05.2008; Tracy Wheeler

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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