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Silence on Hepatitis: Where's the Leadership?

May 15, 2008

On Monday, May 19, Project Inform will join hepatitis advocates around the globe in recognizing "World Hepatitis Awareness Day." This day will highlight the severity of the hepatitis pandemic, through media campaigns, rallies, and educational events. We will also call on elected officials to take action and leadership in creating hepatitis education, prevention, diagnosis, care, and treatment programs.

In the United States, the statistics are staggering. There are an estimated 6 million people with the hepatitis B or C virus. Most Americans living with hepatitis C are unaware of their infection. Chronic viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer, now among the top 10 killers of Americans over the age of 25. In addition, around 30 percent of people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C, and end-stage liver disease is now a leading cause of death for people with HIV/AIDS.

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