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Hepatitis Awareness: Bringing Attention to a Silent Epidemic

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Viral hepatitis is an asymptomatic disease affecting more than 5.3 million Americans. More than 75 percent of those with hepatitis C are unaware they have the virus.

Hepatitis B and C Testing and Awareness Day in the U.S. House of Representatives will take place at 10:00 am - 2:00 pm in the Rayburn Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) is pleased to participate with the Congressional Hepatitis Caucus, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable, the Community Education Group, Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington DC, Caring Ambassadors Program, the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, the Association of Chinese American Physicians, and private industry to provide testing for hepatitis B and C.  

In May 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released "Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis." The plan runs through 2013, and AASLD -- the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease -- welcomes the HHS announcement that it intends to update and renew the plan for 2014-2016.

Access to care and support of liver disease research are at the center of AASLD's advocacy efforts and Hepatitis Awareness Month and hepatitis testing events are necessary to make Americans aware that they can now be tested and treated for hepatitis C.

Research in the area of hepatitis C has led to FDA approval of two direct acting antiviral drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C, and numerous other direct acting antiviral drugs are in the development pipeline. AASLD looks forward to -- and its members work diligently to realize -- the day when an all-oral, interferon-free, shortened treatment can be used to eradicate the virus from patients with hepatitis C.

As research in hepatitis C continues, the fight against hepatitis B does so too, and AASLD members are at the forefront of these battles. We are proud to partner with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others at HHS wherever there is an opportunity to raise awareness of both hepatitis B and C.

  • May is Hepatitis Awareness Month.
  • May 2013 is the second anniversary of the National Viral Hepatitis Action Plan.
  • May 19, 2013, was the second annual Hepatitis Testing Day.
  • May 23, 2013, is Hepatitis B and C Testing and Awareness Day in the U.S. House of Representatives.

AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and healthcare professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. AASLD was founded in 1950 by a small group of leading liver specialists and has grown to an international society responsible for all aspects of hepatology.

Press releases and additional information about AASLD are available online at

Media Contact: Gregory Bologna

This release was issued through The Xpress Press News Service, merging e-mail and satellite distribution technologies to reach business analysts and media outlets worldwide. For more information, visit

SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
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