Hepatitis B and Your College Student - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/18/03

Hepatitis B and Your College Student

We've talked for a few weeks about immunizing young children before they head back to school. What about the big kids heading off to college? Those students are at risk for Hepatitis B and other serious health problems because of the lifestyle they may develop when they leave home.

Take a look at the booklet by (clicking here). You will need Adobe Acrobat reader on your computer in order to view this document.

An online survey by the Society for Adolescent Medicine finds that 95% of college students say they participate in activities they would not want their parents to know about.

Some of the most important findings were in the area of risk of sexually transmitted infections and one of those findings was that 75% of sexually active college students still engage in unprotected sexual activity.

Hepatitis B is preventable by a vaccine. That's why the society has launched a nationwide campaign to encourage parents to get their students vaccinated against Hepatitis B before they head off to college.

By the way, also in that survey, 40% of students indicated they did not know that sharing a razor blade or even a toothbrush can increase your risk of spreading Hepatitis B to another student since the virus is spread through infected blood of body fluids. Other risk factors include IV drug use, contact sports where you might end up with cuts and scrapes, body piercing, and tattooing.

More than a million Americans are already coping with this life-long infection which is caused by a virus that attacks the liver.

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