This July 28th marks the 6th annual World Hepatitis Day (WHD), an opportunity to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and come together to share our successes and strategize about our challenges. Importantly, WHD provides a platform to mobilize greater support for our continued work toward better surveillance and prevention programs and improved access to diagnosis and treatment, through focused governmental and nongovernmental action. Globally, over 400 million people are living with viral hepatitis, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 1.4 million people around the world die each year as a result of viral hepatitis. WHO focuses attention on World Hepatitis Day as one of the 8 official global health campaigns mandated by WHO Member States. We are honored to join in this annual global observance.
In the U.S., the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care, and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis recognizes that chronic viral hepatitis is largely preventable and treatable. And in the case of hepatitis C, the infection is curable. Still, it’s estimated that between 3.5 and 5.3 million Americans are living with untreated chronic viral hepatitis, which is a leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013 there were over 21,000 deaths in the U.S. related to hepatitis A, B, and C. But we don’t have to accept these numbers. We can fight back. Using the Action Plan as a roadmap, federal and nonfederal stakeholders are taking steps to expand and strengthen programs, services, and research activities that will enhance our response to viral hepatitis. Raising awareness of viral hepatitis among the public at large as well as healthcare providers through events such as World Hepatitis Day is an important component of this enhanced response.
There are many ways to learn more about and get involved in efforts to address viral hepatitis.
View Live Webcast of U.S. Federal Observance of World Hepatitis Day
Tune into the Live Webcast on National Efforts to Address Viral Hepatitis
Tuesday July 28th, 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM (EDT)
Working Together to Improve Viral Hepatitis Outcomes in the U.S. –
A World Hepatitis Day Observance
This event will be webcast at www.hhs.gov/live-2
Join us and learn about the efforts being undertaken across the nation to address hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The event will include:
- Remarks from Dr. Karen DeSalvo, HHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Health
- A discussion with White House leadership about their commitment to viral hepatitis efforts
- Highlights of federal agency activities on viral hepatitis
- Perspectives on viral hepatitis from state and national partners
Join the Global Viral Hepatitis Conversation
Each day, approximately 4,000 people will die from viral hepatitis, globally. Getting involved, raising awareness, and preventing new infections can help prevent future deaths. Below are some opportunities to learn more about viral hepatitis and join in this worldwide effort.
- Host a watch party for the HHS World Hepatitis Day Event on July 28th from 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM EDT.
- Take the CDC’s 5-minute online viral hepatitis risk assessment and encourage others to do the same.
- Visit the official World Hepatitis Day website and Facebook page. Join the 4000 voices Thunderclap.
- Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #4000voices , #WorldHepatitisDay , #PreventHepatitis , and #ViralHepAction.
- Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about viral hepatitis and download or order free resources.
- Develop strategies to combat viral hepatitis within your organizations and communities, using the Stakeholder’s Workbook.
On World Hepatitis Day, July 28th, 2015, we join the World Health Organization and partners across our nation and around the world in advancing global efforts to prevent infections and deaths from viral hepatitis. Working together, we can make a difference and bring an end to the silent epidemic of viral hepatitis.