Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Rothenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Ike Okoson


In 2010, the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infected 1.2 million people in the United States, many of whom were unaware of their infection (CDC, 2010). The available research on HBV infection is predominately among Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islander. HBV infection and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection share similar modes of transmission. Very little HBV research has been dedicated to the African American females; who accounted for 29% of the new HIV cases among young adolescents in 2010 (CDC, 2010). Due to the common mode of transmission of HIV and Hepatitis B many persons at risk for HIV are also at risk for contracting Hepatitis B. One’s risk for acquisition of HBV can be mitigated or eliminated by vaccination or naturally acquired immunity. In the absence of both, an individual is susceptible to acquisition of HBV. The aims of this study are to define susceptibility of non-Hispanic, blacks to Hepatitis B infection compared to other races as well as defining possible risk factors that may increase or decrease their susceptibility.