Hepatitis B Leaders Mark World Hepatitis Day with Pledge to Find the Missing Millions

Hep B United National Coalition Convenes in Washington DC for 7th Annual Summit

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 2019) –Hep B United, a national coalition established by the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) to address the silent epidemic of hepatitis B, will host its seventh annual summit in Washington, D.C., July 23rd to 25th. The summit brings together over 100 community leaders, advocates, and people with hepatitis B to promote screening and prevention strategies and advocate for equitable access to health care to further its mission to eliminate hepatitis B in the United States. Worldwide, nearly two-thirds of those infected with hepatitis B- over 200 million people- are unaware of that they are infected. Summit attendees will address ways to identify those “missing millions” who do not yet know that they are living with this often-silent disease.

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus and is the world’s most common, serious liver infection. It is also the deadliest vaccine-preventable disease, with nearly 1 million people dying each year from hepatitis B-related disease worldwide. In the United States, up to 2.2 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis B, yet most do not know it. Without early diagnosis and intervention, one in four people living with hepatitis B will die prematurely from liver failure or liver cancer.

“We can save millions of lives in the U.S. and worldwide by using the tools we have and building much-needed infrastructure to prevent, diagnose and treat hepatitis B,” said Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, senior vice president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and co-chair of Hep B United. “The annual Hep B United Summit brings our partners together to share best practices and develop strategies for the coming year to increase national attention and resources to address the epidemic of hepatitis B.”

The Hep B United summit is the largest convening of hepatitis B leaders from community coalitions, national nonprofit organizations, individuals and family members affected by hepatitis B, and public health agencies in the United States. Hep B United is comprised of more than 40 community coalitions across the country located in 29 cities, 20 states, and Washington, D.C. The summit is part of global events to mark World Hepatitis Day, observed each year on July 28th, the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, Nobel Laureate who discovered the hepatitis B virus and developed the first vaccine. The summit’s theme, “Eliminating Hepatitis B: Local Change, Global Impact,” includes sessions that share innovative local, national, and global programs to prevent, diagnose and treat hepatitis B. The summit will also feature #justB, Hepatitis B Foundation’s national storytelling campaign that tells the personal stories of people affected by hepatitis B to increase public awareness and combat stigma and discrimination.

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May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and May 19th marks the 8th annual Hepatitis Testing Day in the U.S.! Organizations around the U.S. are out and about spreading awareness about hepatitis B and hosting many hepatitis education and testing events. We are excited to share resources of opportunities for everyone to get involved in their community this month and throughout the year.

Check out our activity guide to find a local organization and event near you, CDC’s new Hepatitis Awareness Month and Testing Day homepage, and a short CDC video presentation that highlights the resources available for Hepatitis Awareness Month.

Finally, join Join Hepatitis B Foundation, NASTAD and CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis for a Twitter HepChat at 2 p.m. (ET) Thursday, June 13th. The chat will highlight Hepatitis Awareness Month outreach events and allow partner organizations to share their successes, challenges and lessons learned from their efforts. Keep us posted with your events throughout the month with the hashtag #Hepaware19 and remember to join the Twitter Chat conversation with the hashtag #HepChat19.


New Report: Increasing Hepatitis B Awareness and Prevention in the Nail Salon Workforce

North American Occupational Health and Safety Week (May 5-11) is a time to raise awareness about the importance of injury and illness prevention in the workplace! This week, we’re focusing on health and safety within the nail salon industry, specifically the risk for hepatitis B transmission and opportunities to increase awareness and education about hepatitis B among nail salon workers.

In the U.S., the nail salon workforce is comprised mostly of Vietnamese Americans, with many being immigrants. Refugee and immigrant communities are often susceptible to worker exploitation (including labor trafficking) and encounter cultural and linguistic barriers that may leave them vulnerable to occupational health and safety risks, including hepatitis B transmission.

During routine work, nail technicians may be exposed to a client’s blood or other bodily fluids. It is important for nail salon workers to take precautionary measures to protect themselves and their clients to prevent the potential spread of the hepatitis B virus. More importantly, the nail salon industry (including salon owners and state health departments or boards that regulate nail salons) should implement policies that support greater education, awareness, and prevention of hepatitis B transmission among its workforce.

In October of 2011, the American College of Gastroenterology urged the need for increased surveillance and information on disinfection and infectious disease prevention, particularly for hepatitis B and C in nail salons. Since then, no major research or analysis has been conducted to better understand hepatitis B transmission or the policies that protect nail salon workers. In a new report released by the Hepatitis B Foundation, “The Impact of Nail Salon Industry Policies and Regulations on Hepatitis B Awareness and Prevention,” we seek to further understand the nail salon industry landscape through analyzing state policies that govern nail salons and identify strategies to support increased hepatitis B education, awareness, and prevention.

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New Webinar Series: Local Approaches to Preventing and Eliminating Hepatitis B

Hep B United and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) are excited to present a 3-part webinar series on local strategies to eliminate hepatitis B. Join us for updates on the current state of hepatitis B (HBV) in the U.S. and to discuss local health department efforts and model programs to increase hepatitis B testing, vaccination, and linkage to care.

Recent data indicate that there has been an increase in the rate of new hepatitis B infections in the U.S., which many largely attribute to increasing injection drug use. To address this, Hep B United and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) are excited to present a three-part webinar series on local strategies to eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections.

HBV is a significant and common health burden that chronically infects up to 2.2 million people in the U.S. and approximately 257 million people globally. Up to 25% of chronically infected individuals go on to develop serious conditions such as liver damage, cirrhosis, or liver cancer, and many die as a result of complications from liver disease. Despite the availability of an effective vaccine and treatments, barriers in HBV prevention persist. Join us to discuss the current state of HBV in the U.S. and learn about local health department efforts and model programs to increase HBV testing, vaccination, and linkage to care.

Register now for Part 3!

Webinar: Hepatitis B – Dispelling Myths and Misconceptions

Join Hep B United on February 21st, 2019 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST for a webinar on dispelling common myths about hepatitis B!

How is hepatitis B spread?

If I am infected, can I safely breastfeed my baby?

What is the hepatitis B vaccine schedule?

We will tackle some of these questions, myths about hepatitis B transmission, and how to address common misconceptions. Join a conversation with our panelists and share your own questions about hepatitis B transmission and prevention.

Register here.

Maureen Kamischke, Social Media and Outreach Manager, Hepatitis B Foundation

Ponni Perumalswami, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Hepatologist, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Amy Shen Tang, MD, Hepatitis B Program Director and Primary Care Internist, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center

We Will Be Invisible No Longer

The Hepatitis B Foundation and the Hep B United coalition are excited to partner with the All of Us Research Program, a program funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to advance precision medicine – health care that is tailored to each person. All of Us will enroll and engage 1 million or more people across the country, from all walks of life, to contribute to research that could improve health for generations to come.

We are partnering with All of Us to increase representation of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in biomedical research. Diversity and inclusion in health research is critical to understanding how certain diseases or treatments affect individuals differently and helping transform health care to be more customized and effective for each person.

In the U.S., over half of the 2.2 million people living with chronic hepatitis B are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Join All of Us to help researchers better understand the causes and risk factors for chronic conditions like hepatitis B and make health equity a reality.

Visit JoinAllofUs.org to learn more about the All of Us Research Program.

Additional resources:
Fact Sheet: All of Us Research Program
Infographic: All of Us Research Program
Flyer: “How do I sign up for the All of Us Research Program?”

Webinar: Epidemiological Tools and Analytics to Support the Global Elimination of Hepatitis B

Please join Hep B United on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm EST for a webinar to learn about tools and resources to support the global elimination of hepatitis B. Globally, an estimated 292 million are living with chronic hepatitis B infection, yet only 10% are diagnosed. Additionally, out of the estimated 94 million eligible for treatment, of these, only 4.8 million or 5% were treated. Join us for this interactive session to learn about novel initiatives to expand epidemiological data through the Polaris Observatory and resources to increase access to hepatitis screening and treatment.

Register here.

Webinar: Hepatitis Delta – Current and Future Treatments

Join us for a Webinar: Hepatitis Delta: Current and Future Treatments
Tuesday, January 8th 2019
7:00 AM PT / 10:00 AM ET

While scientific advancements in the last 20 years have brought highly effective treatment options for hepatitis B patients; treatments for hepatitis B and delta coinfected patients have lagged behind. Interferon therapy remains the only somewhat effective treatment option for 15-20 million patients who are anxiously awaiting new drugs to control their coinfection. With 7 new drugs in clinical trials, there is hope.

Join professor Cihan Yurdaydin, MD, secretary general for the World Gastroenterology Organization and Educational Councilor of EASL, for an in-depth perspective on current treatment regimens for hepatitis delta and a look at new drugs in the pipeline that show promise for more effective future treatments.

Register here – even if you cannot attend live, please register and we will email you the webinar recording!

Hep B United Applauds Bipartisan Legislation to Combat the Opioid Crisis and Opioid Related Infectious Diseases

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2018) – Hep B United today released the following statement, commending Congress for working together to pass the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. The legislation was signed into law by the president, following overwhelming bipartisan Congressional support. The legislation supports a range of services, programs, and funding, across multiple federal agencies, to help combat the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic and related infectious diseases, including hepatitis B.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act brings together several pieces of legislation focused on different aspects of the opioid epidemic, from promoting evidence-based prevention strategies, to researching new, non-addictive pain management drugs, and expanding access to substance use disorder treatment.

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