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World Hepatitis Alliance Warns that Stigma is a Major Threat to New Initiative Against Hepatitis Epidemic
Date:7/27/2011

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[<
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SOURCE World Hepatitis Alliance
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