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Hispanics Lack Awareness about Hepatitis C Virus

By Univision Team
Jul 29, 2015
Seven disease states, ranked in terms of awareness among Hispanics

Hispanic Disease Awareness

UCI partnered with Latinum Network to gain insights into Hispanics’ awareness and understanding of the following seven diseases: Hepatitis C, Heart Failure, Psoriasis, Diabetes, Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer and Chronic Hives. The chart above shows Hispanics’ level of awareness for each disease ranked from highest to lowest.

World Hepatitis Day takes place on July 28th every year, and aims to increase awareness of viral hepatitis by encouraging people to take the necessary steps to prevent and/or manage the disease. When we look at hepatitis C, the disease prevalence is higher among Hispanics compared to the general population. A recent study conducted by UCI and Latinum Network gives us more insights about Hispanics’ understanding of the disease.

Overall Awareness—91% of Hispanics have some awareness of hepatitis C. However, when we compare to non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics are three times more likely to be completely unaware. Hispanics are also less likely than non-Hispanic whites to identify the widely known symptoms of hepatitis C, such as fatigue, jaundice, and poor appetite.

Understanding the Disease – Both Hispanics and non-Hispanics understand that hepatitis C is a serious illness (81% vs. 80% NH whites). Yet, only 16% know that there is no vaccine for it (vs. 25% NH whites). There seems to be some misunderstanding about the differences between the types of viral hepatitis, since only hepatitis A and B can be prevented with a vaccine.

Trusted Source – According to the study, 18% of Hispanics first heard about hepatitis C from their doctors vs.  just 9% of NH whites. This speaks to the integral role healthcare professionals play in this community—our 2014 Latinum study showed that Hispanics trust their doctors significantly more than non-Hispanics (66% vs. 58%).

Through educational marketing campaigns and the use of Spanish-language materials on symptoms and treatment options in places like the doctor’s office, hospitals, and clinics, marketers can begin to build relationships, help treat hepatitis C patients, and educate the wider Hispanic community about this disease.

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