July 28, 2015 is World Hepatitis Day. Coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance and recognized by the World Health Organization, this years theme is “Prevent Hepatitis: It’s up to you”. The mission of World Hepatitis Day is to raise awareness about viral hepatitis to educate through better prevention plans, create better avenues and access to treatment and encourage governments into action. LIAAC joins in their mission by standing up to be counted as one of the 4000 voices the Alliance is seeking to help raise awareness of viral hepatitis.
According to the World Hepatitis Alliance 400 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis B or C and every year 1.4 million people die from viral hepatitis. Currently there is a vaccine available for both Hepatitis A and B but to date there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, which is the most prevalent form. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 4.4 million people are living with hepatitis and over 50% don’t even know they have it. Chronic Hepatitis C is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. It is the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. Approximately 15,000 people die every year from Hepatitis C related liver disease.
In recognition of World Hepatitis Day 2015 and to help stem the tide of the over 15,000 new cases of hepatitis reported within New York State each year, the Long Island Association for AIDS Care’s mobile outreach will provide free and rapid Hepatitis C testing throughout Long Island. LIAAC will also launch hepatitis education initiatives on the illness at various locations within our communities. For more information on our Hepatitis education and testing events visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LIAAC.inc/events or visit our Twitter page at https://twitter.com/LIAAC_inc.