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Home > Education Resources > Liver Lowdown > Liver Lowdown July 2013 > World Hep Day 2013

World Hepatitis Day in July – A Chance to Educate and Save Lives

In this hectic 24/7 world, Sundays are often still set aside to get together with family members. Or at least it’s a time to keep in touch, whether by phone or by going online.

But this year, Sunday, July 28 takes on extra special meaning for families who have been touched by hepatitis: It’s when the global healthcare hepatitis community observes World Hepatitis Day.

Launched five years ago by the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), World Hepatitis Day provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C.

Tom Nealon, national board chair of the American Liver Foundation, said, “Hopefully, July 28 will be a day when more Americans become familiar with how to prevent, get tested and treated for hepatitis.”

He added: “If each of us does something on that day to educate others about hepatitis, every tiny step can lead to a greater understanding and a willingness to be tested. In that way, many lives can be saved.”

World Hepatitis Alliance

WHA’s theme for World Hepatitis Day is “This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.”

The theme, now in its third year, focuses on the real-life impact of viral hepatitis.It aims to make people aware of hepatitis and to remove the stigma associated with it.

As the campaign states: “You cannot change what you refuse to confront.”

WHA (of which the American Liver Foundation is a member) is repeating its attempt from last year to achieve a new Guinness World Record, when 12,588 participated.

To demonstrate how too little attention is being paid to hepatitis by governments and communities world-wide, groups of people are invited to perform the Three Wise Monkey 'See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil' actions within 24 hours on World Hepatitis Day. Find out how you can participate.

Some Facts:

  • Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis world-wide. Globally, one million people die annually from chronic viral hepatitis. Approximately 1 in 12 people, or around 500 million people, have chronic viral hepatitis. Few even know they’re infected.

(Source: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention)

  • In the United States, it’s estimated that up to 5.3 million people have chronic Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C infections. About 75 percent of the infected population is unaware that they have hepatitis.

(Source: Institutes of Medicine)

True and False quiz answers: 1)T 2)T 3)T 4)F, that's why immunization is so important 5)F, HBV is about 50-100x more infectious than HIV 6)T 7)T, they have acute hepatitis B. About 5% have hepatitis B all their lives (chronic hepatitis B) unless they are successfully treated with medications. 8) F, there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. The only way to stop the spread of hepatitis C is to avoid direct contact with infected blood. 9)T 10)T, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued draft guidelines recommending a one-time hepatitis C test for everyone born from 1945 to 1965 (the baby boomer generation).

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Page updated: July 18th, 2013


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