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Contact:           John Hellman Tel: 646-377-6115;

New York City Leaders and Federal Officials

Call for Action to Address the Impact of Viral Hepatitis

What: Elected officials, community leaders and public health officials will announce free and low cost hepatitis screenings and unveil a new PSA campaign in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The event will recognize National Hepatitis Awareness Month during May as well as National Hispanic Hepatitis Awareness Day on May 15, and National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19. Testing and education opportunities will be available for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

When: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 11am
Where: Steps of City Hall,  New York, NY

  • NYC Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo
  • Dr. J. Nadine Gracia, Director of the Office of Minority Health, HHS
  • Dr. Jaime Torres, Regional Health Administrator, HHS
  • Guillermo Chacon, President, Latino Commission on AIDS
  • Dr. Warren Chin, Executive Director, Chinese American Medical Society
  • NYC Council Member Dr. Matthieu Eugene
  • NYS Assemblyman Ron Kim
  • NYC Council Member Peter Koo
  • Carson Kressley, Television host, celebrity stylist, and fashion designer
  • Dr. Carlos Ortiz, Executive Board, Al D. Rodriguez Liver Foundation

Why:  Hepatitis B & C are leading causes of liver disease in the United States, and increase the risk for liver cancer. It is a silent epidemic, with up to 5.3 million Americans estimated to be infected. 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. Over 245,000 NYC residents are living with Hep B or C, and more than ¼ will progress to end stage liver disease without medical intervention. There is a vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis B, and treatment to prevent or slow liver disease. With greater awareness there is greater hope for putting an end to this devastating silent illness.

Note to Editors: There will be volunteer patients being tested with the new OraQuick® HCV Rapid Test for photo and video.

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