Subscribers, expect issue 6 to land on your doorstep in a month (and sooner for those of you in the Bay Area.)
On a personal note, I've been stressing over someone in my family who just discovered she has hepatitis B. Here she is, an adult well into her 50s, and she's probably had this her whole life and didn't even know it. Lots of people carry hep B without symptoms -- their liver function test results are A-OK. But left untreated, hep B can turn into liver cancer. And you don't even get symptoms with liver cancer until you reach a late stage. Then, it's too late.
Hepatitis B is not a big concern to the general American population, however, Asians and Asian Americans are particularly at risk. My family member only got diagnosed because she went to get a second opinion about something else from an Asian American doctor. And he runs hep B tests on all his patients, even those who don't request it. Her liver function is fine and she seems healthy, so who knew how long she would have gone on without getting tested? He probably saved her life.
I encourage all of you to get tested -- even if you've been vaccinated. You could have gotten Hep B at birth from your mother and not even know it. Getting the Hep B antibody test to see if you have the vaccine is not enough. You need to get the antigen test to see if you've been infected.
For info, the Asian Liver Center is a good resource and has a handbook that you can download.
You can also read this story by our own Jennifer Huang that ran in the very first issue of Hyphen.