Polaris presents data on higher prevalence of HCV and HBV among indigenous populations at the World Indigenous conference

The World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Viral Hepatitis was held in Anchorage, Alaska on August 8-9. Devin Razavi-Shearer-Spink presented the latest analysis conducted by the Polaris Observatory quantifying the burden of HCV and HBV among indigenous people. The analysis showed that the prevalence of HBV among indigenous people is 5-49 times higher than the than the prevalence in the corresponding country, while HCV was 3-6 times higher, depending on the region. The analysis found that HCV prevalence in the Amazon region is very high in some villages, but the neighboring villages can have prevalence in line or even lower than the country or regional prevalence. HBV came with indigenous people, and due to limited access to vaccination, the prevalence remains high. HCV, however, appears to have come with Europeans. Disproportionately high rates of poverty, injection drug use, and incarceration in indigenous populations in combination with the lack of access to health care and prevention measures, greatly increases the risk and thus prevalence of hepatitis C. On the positive side, the HBV vaccination campaign among the Alaskan indigenous population has resulted in a lower HBsAg prevalence among younger age cohorts as compared to the total population.

The analysis conducted by the Polaris Observatory was covered in a number of articles. A list is shown below:

Efforts to End Viral Hepatitis in Indigenous People Show Promise - https://www.voanews.com/a/viral-hepatitis-and-indigenous-people/3979747.html

Indigenous People More Likely to Be Infected by HBV and/or HCV Than Others - http://www.idse.net/Hepatitis/Article/08-17/Indigenous-People-More-Likely-to-Be-Infected-by-HBV-and-or-HCV-Than-Others/42251

Hepatitis numbers higher for Indigenous: study - http://nit.com.au/hepatitis-numbers-higher-indigenous-study/

New research shows indigenous peoples are much more likely to be infected by hepatitis B and/or C - https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-08/wha-nrs080417.php A copy of the slides is available upon request (requestdata@polarisobservatory.org)

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