Barriers to Accessing Testing and Treatment for Chronic Hepatitis B in Afghan, Rohingyan, and South Sudanese Populations in Australia

Katherine Sievert, Paul O’Neill, Youlin Koh, Jia Hui Lee, Anouk Dev, Suong Le

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23 Citations (Scopus)


The burden of chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) infection and associated complications such as hepatocellular carcinoma is growing significantly in Australia due to increased migration from countries with a high prevalence of CHB. Significant barriers to screening and engagement with healthcare persist due to stigma and perceptions associated with CHB within these communities. Our study was a pilot intervention aimed at engaging Afghan, Rohingyan, and Sudanese populations into CHB care through an initial needs assessment. Twenty six patients from Afghan, Rohingyan, and Sudanese communities, identified in the Monash Health CHB database, participated in a combination of survey questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Language and cultural barriers, lack of HBV knowledge, housing and family reunification priorities associated with new settlement, as well as previous experiences of healthcare engagement were all identified as obstacles to accessing CHB care. Healthcare and health promotion workers should be sensitive to the additional health barriers associated with seeking asylum, as these barriers can take priority over the often asymptomatic and chronic nature of CHB. Communities with high prevalence of CHB require culturally relevant education tools delivered at a community level in order to improve their knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018


  • Afghan
  • Chronic Hepatitis B
  • Healthcare engagement
  • Refugee
  • Rohingyan
  • Sudanese

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