Navigation Links
World Hepatitis Alliance Warns that Stigma is a Major Threat to New Initiative Against Hepatitis Epidemic

GENEVA, July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Patient community calls on governments to do more to reduce stigma as World Hepatitis Day receives official WHO endorsement for the first time

On World Hepatitis Day the World Hepatitis Alliance is warning governments that, unless they also tackle stigma and discrimination, important new action to improve and save millions of lives will be wasted.

The warning from the patient community comes one year after the agreement of an historic World Health Organization (WHO) resolution, which for the first time described what is expected of governments to deliver improvements in awareness, surveillance, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.  The resolution was passed just weeks after the Alliance published research that found only a few - less than one third - of governments funded action to reduce the stigmatisation of, and discrimination against, people living with hepatitis B or C[1].

"Viral hepatitis is a global epidemic. The decision of the 193 countries of the WHO to adopt a resolution last year was the first step in tackling it, but we have a long way to go" said Charles Gore, President of the Alliance. "Right now the resolution is just a piece of paper. The challenge for governments is to action it, and that will be immeasurably harder if we don't at the same time vigorously confront stigma."

500 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B and C worldwide but, despite the huge burden, there is widespread ignorance of the diseases.  This ignorance leads people to assume they are not at risk; it prevents people coming forward for testing and treatment; it stops people paying attention to awareness messages and so increases the risk of infection as people are unaware of the major routes of transmission; and it reinforces stigma.  

The theme for this first official WHO-sponsored World Hepatitis Day is 'Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere. Know it. Confront it', highlighting the huge reach of this epidemic, the importance of getting informed and the need to use that information to tackle the stigma that has kept this epidemic so silent.

In support of efforts to combat stigmathe Alliance is launching an interactive 'wall' of personal stories to encourage people across the world to speak out about their experiences. By describing the reality of hepatitis, patients and those affected by this disease can radically change the way it is perceived, reinforcing the need for a non-judgemental, co-ordinated global approach that will dramatically improve prevention and rapidly decrease the number of needless deaths.

"The initiative for this event originated with civil society activists, including the World Hepatitis Alliance and patient groups" commented Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO.  "They perceived a great need to increase awareness of viral hepatitis, the diseases it causes, and the discrimination often faced by patients.  They wanted to see action against these diseases on several fronts. I agree entirely with these objectives."

WHO Endorsement of World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is the principal hepatitis awareness event on the global healthcare calendar and became an official WHO day in 2010 with the passing of World Health Assembly resolution WHA63.18.  The WHO is now working with the Alliance as a collaborating partner on World Hepatitis Day 2011 and in recognition of the birthday of Professor Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the hepatitis B virus, WHO decided that World Hepatitis Day should take place on 28 July.  Sadly Professor Blumberg died in April 2011, and this will add further poignancy to the date this year.  

Did You Know?

  • Approximately 500 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B or C[2]
  • This is over 15 times the number infected with HIV/AIDS[3]
  • Between them hepatitis B and C kill one million people a year[2]
  • Less than one third (32%) of governments report funding action to reduce the stigmatisation of, and discrimination against, people living with hepatitis B or C[1]
  • 81% of low income country governments have not funded any awareness work and 85% have not acted to reduce stigma[1]
  • One in three people on the planet has been exposed to either or both viruses

World Hepatitis Alliance

The World Hepatitis Alliance provides global leadership and supports action that will halt the death toll and improve the lives of people living with chronic viral hepatitis B and C.  Through better awareness, prevention, care, support and access to treatment, our ultimate goal is to work with governments to eradicate these diseases from the planet.  

The World Hepatitis Alliance is a Non-Governmental Organisation representing more than 280 hepatitis B and C patient groups from around the world.  The World Hepatitis Alliance is governed by a board consisting entirely of hepatitis B or C patients and elected by patient groups from the six WHO world regions: Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South-East Asia and Western Pacific.  For further information visit:    

World Hepatitis Alliance - Seeking a world without viral hepatitis B and C.

World Hepatitis Day

The fourth annual World Hepatitis Day will take place on Thursday 28th July 2011, as part of an ongoing campaign launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008. This is the first year that the WHO has endorsed World Hepatitis Day.

The 2011 theme for World Hepatitis Day is 'This is hepatitis... Know it.  Confront it.  Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere.' This theme complements 'Am I Number 12?' which remains the principle awareness-raising campaign of the World Hepatitis Alliance and has been a central component of the World Hepatitis Day movement since its launch. This inclusive theme emphasises the scale of viral hepatitis (1 in 12 of the global population is chronically infected with hepatitis B or C) and helps combat the stigma often associated with hepatitis B and C by conveying the fact that these viruses do not discriminate.


[1] Viral Hepatitis: Global Policy.  World Hepatitis Alliance in conjunction with the World Health Organization: (accessed 18 July, 2011)

[2] World Health Organization. Global Alert and Response (GAR) (accessed 18 July, 2011)

[3]World Health Organization.  Global summary of the AIDS epidemic.  (accessed 18 July, 2011)

Raquel José
T: +44-(0)7920-202120

SOURCE World Hepatitis Alliance
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Researchers create the worlds most advanced genetic map
2. Jeff Sherman Joins Block Engineering as Vice President of Worldwide Sales
3. Tele-Health Monitoring: Market Shares, Strategies, and Forecasts, Worldwide, 2011 to 2017
4. Stem Cell Technologies: World Market Outlook 2011-2021
5. Merrimack Announces Presentation of Preclinical Data at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer
6. New Jersey Targets Life-Sciences Investors at Worlds Largest Biotechnology Event
7. Most Expensive Teas in the World Worth US$44,500 per 4 Ounces Each are Positioned for International Distribution Says Protein Reactor Combined Fuels Inc (OTC: PRCF) Founder Chairman and CEO Nestor C. Buenaflor
8. Ohios Bioscience Industry Thrives With World-Class Industry Collaboration
9. Reportlinker Adds Orthopedic Biomaterials, The World Market
10. A world without nano? Soon hard to imagine
11. Neurologix Presents One-Year Follow-Up Data From Phase 2 Study of NLX-P101 in Parkinsons Disease at International Neuromodulation Society 10th World Congress
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... They call it the ... network, a depiction of a system of linkages and connections so complex and ... professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and director of the ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, ... in analytical testing are being attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ComplianceOnline’s Medical Device Summit ... 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. The Summit brings together current ... several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from around the world to address ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study ... in frozen and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The ... IVF success. , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... BROOKLYN, N.Y. , April 11, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... identical fingerprints, but researchers at the New York ... University College of Engineering have found that partial ... fingerprint-based security systems used in mobile phones and ... previously thought. The vulnerability lies in ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast ... the primary factor for the growth of the stem ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell ... application, and geography. The stem cell market of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):