Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Uniting to Combat Hepatitis B

In late May, during National Hepatitis Awareness Month, local coalitions from all over the country came together for the second Hep B United Summit. Hep B United  is a national campaign to raise awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer; it is composed of 20 state and local coalitions  working together to combat this “silent epidemic.” Participants at the summit represented community-based organizations, health care providers, local and state health departments, academic institutions, public health researchers, policymakers, federal partners, and individuals living with hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B in the U.S.
Hepatitis B is spread in several distinct ways: from mother to infant at the time of birth, through exposure to infected blood in household or health care settings, through sexual contact, and through injection drug use. Vaccinating people who do not have hepatitis B can prevent loved ones from getting infected. If left untreated, up to 25 percent of people with chronic hepatitis B will develop serious liver problems and even liver cancer. Sadly, hepatitis B-related liver cancer is a leading cause of death among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Hepatitis B affects around 2 million Americans, half of whom are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Two out of three of these individuals are not even aware that they are infected.

- See more at: http://blog.aids.gov/2014/06/uniting-to-combat-hepatitis-b.html#sthash.OVldEi45.dpuf

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