HBsAg Prevalence and Knowledge on Hepatitis B among Stieng Tribe Adults in Binh Phuoc Province, Vietnam
Hepatitis B virus infection remains a major public health problem in Vietnam. About 10 percent of the population lives with chronic HBV infection and in a recent year there were 23,300 deaths related to HBV. However, there has been limited data about hepatitis B infection, especially among ethnic groups. A cross-sectional study aims to determine the HBsAg prevalence and knowledge on hepatitis B among Stieng tribe adults in Binh Phuoc province. Multi-stage sampling was used to select 357 participants. Demographic, knowledge on HBV and health behavior information was gathered. Serum samples were taken to test for HBsAg prevalence. The study found that the prevalence of the hepatitis B surface was 16.2%. More than half of the participants answered that had never heard about Hepatitis B (52.4%), 23% of the participant had a low level of knowledge, and only 24.6% had a high level of knowledge. There was a significant association between HBsAg and gender (p-value = 0.012) with males having a higher level than females. There were significant associations with levels of knowledge and certain personal characteristics: education (p-value < 0.001), occupation (p-value = 0.001), history of HBV infection or liver diseases (p-value < 0.001) and history of family member with HBV infection or liver diseases (p-value < 0.001). In conclusions, there was a high overall prevalence of HBsAg positive (16.2%). The prevalence of HBsAg was significantly higher in males than females. Education, occupation, history of HBV infection or liver diseases and history of family members with HBV infection or liver diseases associated significantly with knowledge levels. This study is the first study providing an estimate of revalence and factors associated with hepatitis B infection among Stieng tribe adults. The prevalence of HBsAg is quite high among Stieng tribe adults; therefore the government and Ministry of Health should consider health strategies for this group. A campaign for HBV prevention and control needs to be launched to draw attention from the government, the Ministry of Health and the villagers. There is a need to educate and create knowledge on hepatitis B among the villagers, and especially among the farmers and those with low education levels.
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