On Thursday, May 12, 2016, over 120 health advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which disproportionately affects the Asian, African, African American, and Latino community, as well as the LGBT community, people who inject drugs, and formerly or currently incarcerated men and women. Representatives and advocates from these affected communities – patients, health workers, city officials, community workers, friends and families – shared their stories in the hopes of encouraging action among New Yorkers to get tested and demand for better access to prevention and treatment.
The event coincided with May’s National Hepatitis Awareness Month, which included National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day on May 15th and National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19th.
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States. It is a silent epidemic, with up to 5.3 million or one in every 60 Americans estimated to have either hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Over 245,000 NYC residents are living with hepatitis B or C. Although it claims the lives of 12,000-15,000 Americans every year, viral hepatitis remains virtually unknown to the general public, at-risk populations, and policy makers. There is a vaccine available to prevent hepatitis B, and treatments to prevent serious liver disease and cancer for those already infected with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C.
In the news:
- NBLCA press release: NYC Activists and Advocates Call for Hepatitis Awareness, Testing, Treatment
- El Diario NY: Buscan Concientizar Sobre la Hepatitis en NYC
- “Doctor Notes” from Charles B. Wang Community Health Center: New York City Advocates Come Together to Address the Viral Hepatitis “Silent Epidemic”
- NYC Health Department Press Release: Hepatitis Awareness Month
See the gallery of photos and social media posts:
Raising Awareness for Testing, Access and Treatment!
Steps of City Hall, NYC
For more information, contact Daniel Leyva 212-675-3288 x 346