Our research is interested in exploring beliefs about hepatitis B of international students of Chinese/Vietnamese background who are studying in Australia. The international students can be the bridge to these two migrant communities, where hepatitis B is quite common. We distributed an online survey in Chinese/Vietnamese and English on social media, asking the students about their understandings of hepatitis B, attitude about people living with the disease, and how the students look after their health.
Findings were similar between the Chinese and Vietnamese international students, whose number totals 588. Many of these students were tested for hepatitis B, and satisfied with the information provided at testing. Many were also vaccinated in Australia.
However, the international students reported a low level of knowledge of hepatitis B causes and transmission routes. A large proportion of them would also expect to experience stigma themselves if they had hepatitis B, and would behave negatively towards others because of their hepatitis B status.
A significant number of international students continue to stay in Australia after their study. Therefore, these students may become the bridge to their respective communities and provide valuable information. Their insights can help develop hepatitis B campaigns (prevention, testing and treatment) specific for these migrant communities.
Happy to take any inquiry about our study!