Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, 1300 S. 2nd Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN, 55454, USA, Xiong195@umn.edu.
Minnesota is home to a large population of immigrants from Laos as well as one of the largest disparities in hepatitis B (HBV) infection; in Minnesota, Asians are 80 times more likely to be infected than Whites. In response to community concern, a community-based participatory research project was conducted involving a cross-sectional study of 167 adult Laotian immigrants in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area assessing knowledge and behaviors related to HBV and its vaccine. Fifty-eight percent of the participants reported not knowing about HBV and just under half incorrectly reported on person-to-person transmission. As expected, vaccination and screening for HBV was more common among those who knew of HBV (p = 0.02 for both). Fourteen (8.4 %) of the participants had been vaccinated, however, only 2 (14.8 %) of those individuals received all three doses. This study outlines gaps in knowledge and resources that could address the staggering HBV disparity in this community.