Clin Mol Hepatol.  2017 Sep;23(3):205-211. 10.3350/cmh.2017.0104.

Current status and strategies for hepatitis B control in Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University College of Medicine, Chuncheon, Korea.
  • 4Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 6Department of Internal Medicine, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is the most common cause of chronic liver diseases in Korea. After the introduction of the universal HBV vaccination program, the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen was markedly reduced, and Korea is now classified as an area of intermediate endemicity for HBV. However, there are still hurdles for elimination of hepatitis B, such as immunoprophylaxis failure against vertical transmission, occurrence of acute hepatitis B among peoples who did not have vaccination at younger age, and rapid increase of immigrant populations from HBV endemic areas. To achieve the World Health Organization goal of viral hepatitis elimination by 2030 in Korea, we suggest comprehensive policies for more effective control of hepatitis B as following: i) insurance coverage for antiviral prophylaxis in mothers with high viremia, ii) screening for hepatitis B seromarkers and catch-up HBV vaccinations of susceptible persons with hepatitis B, iii) establishment of an independent "˜viral hepatitis sector' in Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to organize and execute comprehensive strategy for management of viral hepatitis, iv) encourage of management of HBV infection in immigrant populations, v) national campaign to promote awareness of hepatitis B.


Viral hepatitis; Hepatitis B; Korea
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