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Hoang Tran is urging Vietnamese Australians and their families to get tested
for hepatitis B.
B affects one in 11 Vietnamese Australians. The real tragedy is that many
people with hepatitis B do not know it.
their hepatitis B is left untreated, up to one in four of these people may
develop liver damage and/or liver cancer.
to your doctor and get tested. Your life could depend upon it.
About Doctor Hoang Tran
Hoang Tran came to Australia in 1983 as a refugee. He is now a doctor in
Footscray and is passionate about helping his community.
B, or ‘hep B’, is a virus. It affects the liver. It can cause:
- inflammation (swelling)
- scarring (also known as
- liver cancer.
B is widespread in Vietnam and other parts of Asia, where over a period of
years there have been high rates of hepatitis B combined with ineffective vaccination
Hepatitis B and liver
left untreated, hepatitis B virus can cause liver damage and or liver cancer. Liver cancer is a growth in the liver. Often
people with hepatitis B do not have any symptoms, yet serious liver damage can
You need to get
who were born in Vietnam and their families should be tested for hepatitis B. It
doesn’t matter how long you have lived in Australia, it is important to ask
your doctor for a hepatitis B test.
hepatitis B test is not usually included in the health checks you need to
migrate to Australia, or in a doctor’s yearly check-up. This is why it is
important that you ask your doctor.
How to get tested
you're not sure if you've been tested or vaccinated in the past, next time you
visit your doctor, ask for a simple hepatitis B blood test.
blood test can tell you if you:
chronic hepatitis B (chronic means lifelong)
a vaccine to protect you
had a vaccine in the past and are protected.
you don’t have hepatitis B, you can be protected by receiving a vaccination.
Australia babies are usually vaccinated within eight days of birth. This is
followed up with three more doses within their next year of life. The vaccine
for adolescents and adults is usually given as three injections.
and people in close contact with someone who has hepatitis B can be vaccinated
for free. But vaccination won’t protect you if you already have chronic
hepatitis B. This is why testing before vaccination is essential.
with chronic hepatitis B can lead healthy lives. Regular tests every six months
and treatment when needed will help to prevent liver cancer.
The treatment keeps the virus under control,
but it is not a cure. Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B will need
treatment. Some people will only need monitoring. A doctor will help you decide
what type of treatment or monitoring is required.
easiest way to prevent the spread of hepatitis B is through vaccination.
hepatitis B virus is carried in body fluids and blood. The virus spreads when
these fluids get into the body of another person who is not vaccinated.
cannot be spread by:
food, drinks and cutlery
can be spread:
- silently from mother to child
during pregnancy or childbirth (if the baby does not get a vaccine at
- through unprotected sex
- by sharing injecting drug equipment
- by unsterile medical procedures
- by infected blood going into the
bloodstream in some other way, such as unsterile tattooing.
View this page in Vietnamese
information in Vietnamese call 13 14 50. When you call, say your language and
ask for Cancer Council Victoria.