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OAKLAND, January 26, 2015 – The Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO), today launched new a website highlighting stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) impacted by hepatitis B.
The #justB website was created to bring more attention to hepatitis B and the impact it has on the Asian American community, as well as reduce the stigma surrounding this disease. The website will feature one new story each month with each account representing a personal story from an individual affected by the virus, whether it be a person living with hepatitis B, an individual caring for someone with hepatitis B, or someone working within the field.
AAPCHO, which currently has a program addressing hepatitis B among Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders, launched the website with a pair of stories. The first story describes how one woman, who had been vaccinated and thought herself immune to the virus, surprisingly discovered she had hepatitis B while working for a hepatitis B screening program. A second story describes how Jane Pan, the executive director of the Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington, D.C., came to head the community-based organization, focused on screening and outreach.
Chronic hepatitis B affects about 2 million Americans, and more than half are AAPIs. The disease is often overlooked and under-diagnosed. Within AAPI populations, many of those with hepatitis B do not want to disclose their status for the fear of being alienated from their communities. This campaign of stories is one concerted step by AAPCHO and its partners to help combat the stigma faced by those with hepatitis B.
AAPCHO is a national association of 35 community health organizations dedicated to promoting advocacy, collaboration, and leadership that improves the health status and access of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders in the United States. For more information on AAPCHO and its Guiding Principles and Values, please visit www.aapcho.org.