For more information, please contact: Chari Cohen at Chari.Cohen@hepb.org, (215) 489-4900
About Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is the world’s most common liver infection, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV infects 1 in 3 people worldwide, and 400 million are chronically infected. HBV is a silent killer, and can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer. In fact, HBV causes 80% of all primary liver cancer in the world. People from some countries in Africa and Asia are at significantly higher risk of having a hepatitis B infection.
The good news is that there is a simple blood test to tell if someone has hepatitis B, there is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent the spread of HBV, and there are good treatments that can help to prevent serious liver disease in those who are infected.
Hepatitis B in People of African Origin: People of African origin are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B infection. In fact, in some African communities in the U.S., between 5%-15% of people have chronic HBV infection. Unfortunately, due to the silent nature of the disease, lack of disease awareness, and limited health care access, most African community members who have hepatitis B DO NOT KNOW that they are infected. This puts them much greater risk for premature death from cirrhosis or liver cancer.
The key to addressing the high burden of hepatitis B infection in people of African origin is to improve awareness and access to hepatitis B information, screening, vaccination, and follow-up care. CHIPO brings together people around the country who are working in their own local communities to address these very issues.
Contact us to learn more or join our coalition! We welcome any and all organizations and individuals who want to play a role in this exciting campaign!