World Hepatitis Awareness Day – July 28, 2012
Viral hepatitis is closer than you think – to date over 2 billion people have been exposed to viral hepatitis B and C. As a result, 1 in 12 people worldwide are living with the disease. That’s 15 times as many people as are living with HIV.
Hepatitis is not just prevalent, it’s lethal too. The disease is responsible for 78% of all primary liver cancers globally and kills well over a million people a year (that’s rather more than get killed by falling pianos).
What makes hepatitis B and C so important? Hepatitis B is entirely preventable and could be eradicated in a single generation. If only we had the will. The hepatitis B vaccine is one of the cheapest, most effective vaccines available. Hepatitis C is curable, currently in about 70% of people who take treatment. New drugs will bring that closer to 100% in around 5 years. It too will be eradicable. If only we had the will.
It was this lack of profile that led to the creation of the World Hepatitis Alliance – an international alliance of hepatitis patient groups in more than 60 countries. Our mission is to change the landscape completely for people with viral hepatitis by making it as much of a priority issue as HIV or malaria or TB.
Absolutely everyone can identify with a record attempt, no matter where you're from, what language you speak, or how old you are. A record attempt is about setting ourselves a seemingly impossible goal and showing the determination to achieve it. Hence, the Alliance is planning a Guinness World Record attempt to celebrate World Hepatitis Day 2012 (July 28) by having the most people performing the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” actions in 24 hours at multiple venues around the world.
These actions relate to a proverb known as the three wise monkeys covering their eyes, ears and mouth. There are many meanings attached to the proverb, but mostly it is used to refer to those who deal with problems by refusing to acknowledge them. This theme has been chosen to highlight that, around the world, hepatitis is being ignored.
For more information, contact:
Thelma K. Thiel