Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Today is World Hepatitis Day

Today is World Hepatitis Day. More than four million Americans have been infected with hepatitis C. Visit the website to learn about risk factors and how you can protect yourself:


American Liver Foundation

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and the American Liver Foundation urges everyone to learn what can be done to prevent the spread of hepatitis. Many forms of hepatitis are preventable and many more can be treated if detected early.


Did you know you can take action to prevent hepatitis? The American Liver Foundation (ALF) is dedicated to facilitating, advocating, and promoting education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.

Hepatitis Risk Assessments
Take this brief Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C risk assessment to see if you are at risk.

What is viral hepatitis?

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus.

What are the common types of viral hepatitis?

In the United States, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are the most common forms of viral hepatitis. Over 5 million Americans are living with chronic viral hepatitis today and many more who do not know it.

Hepatitis A (HAV):

  • Liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus
  • Spread through fecal matter (poor hygiene)
  • Acute condition that goes away within six months with no treatment
  • Vaccine available for hepatitis A


Hepatitis B (HBV):

  • Liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus
  • Spread through bodily fluids and sharing personal items
  • Acute HBV occurs in about 95% of the cases and chronic HBV in about 5% of the cases
  • Chronic HBV can lead to serious liver damage, liver scarring, and liver cancer
  • Chronic HBV treatment is an option for and successful in some people
  • Vaccine available for hepatitis B

Hepatitis C (HCV):

  • Liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus
  • Spread through blood (a person’s blood comes into direct contact with infected blood)
  • Acute HCV occurs in 15-40% of the cases and chronic HCV in about 60-85% of the cases
  • Chronic HCV can lead to serious liver damage, liver scarring, and liver cancer
  • Chronic HCV treatment is an option for and successful in some people
  • No vaccine available for hepatitis C

How can hepatitis be prevented?

Viral hepatitis can be prevented by taking the following steps and encouraging others to do the same:

  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and hepatitis B
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Practice safe sex
  • Use only clean needles for tattoos and body piercings
  • Do not share needles
  • Do not share razors, toothbrushes, or other personal items
  • Get medical care if you are exposed to blood or needle sticks

ALF supports those with hepatitis and raises awareness all year


  • Education programs reaching over 75,000 students, patients, caregivers, healthcare and social service professionals
  • Love Your Liver (LYL) for children and adolescents
  • Treatment Choices Initiative (TCI) for those at high risk or who have hepatitis C
  • Fatty Liver Information Program (FLIP) for the public
  • Multi-lingual education library of brochures, webcasts, and other resources

Support Services

  • National helpline (1-800-GO-LIVER) assists over 12,000 individuals each year with liver wellness and disease information, medical and support referrals, and local resource information
  • Global liver health support community connects individuals to other individuals affected by liver disease


  • Since 1979, the Research Awards Program has provided more than $22 million for research in liver disease and treatment to more than 750 qualified scientists and physicians
  • ALF is the largest non-governmental supporter of liver disease research in the United States


  • Advocates at federal, state, and local levels on behalf of the thirty million Americans who are affected by all types of hepatitis and liver disease
  • In collaboration with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and other organizations, ALF advocates on Capitol Hill for increased access to primary and specialty care and support for liver disease research, as well as hepatitis prevention and treatment

ALF Endorses Findings of Institute of Medicine Report 
The American Liver Foundation has endorsed the findings of the Institute of Medicine landmark report on hepatitis and liver cancer. The report highlighted the enormous impact undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis will have on public health over the next few years. The American Liver Foundation endorsed the findings of the report. Dr. Allan Wolkoff, Board Chair of the American Liver Foundation said, “We at the American Liver Foundation have focused our efforts on education and prevention along with investing in innovative research for novel treatments.” Read the full report.

World Hepatitis Day is May 19th and is coordinated by theWorld Hepatitis Alliance, a non-governmental organisation that represents approximately 280 hepatitis B and hepatitis C patient groups from around the world.

As a coalition of advocacy groups, the World Hepatitis Alliance is a global voice for the 500 million people worldwide living with chronic viral hepatitis B or C.

Viral Hepatitis: Global Policy
Developed by the World Hepatitis Alliance in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), Viral Hepatitis: Global Policy provides, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis and overview of the policies and programmes in place for viral hepatitis across the world. 

Approaches to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for hepatitis B and hepatitis C vary significantly from country to country. This research project was initiated in 2009 in order to gather the data required to understand the work currently underway across WHO Member States and where the WHO’s assistance would be of benefit to them. The report provides global and regional level overviews of the findings followed by brief summaries of the policies and programmes in place in each of the 135 Member States that submitted information to this study.


Story of Hope

I was floored when I was given the diagnosis,” says Jordan who has a Masters in Health Sciences and works as a counselor for people with HIV and AIDS as well as people recovering from addictions.Read how Debra Jordan learned she had Hepatitis C.

Debra Jordan

Storytelling is powerful medicine!

Reading your personal experience of liver disease can help inspire others on their journey.

Share your story

Posted via web from ttexed's posterous

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