The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) today launched a new two-year campaign theme ‘This is hepatitis…’ for World Hepatitis Day 2010 and 2011, at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) congress in Boston, Massachusetts.
‘This is hepatitis…’ tells the real-life stories of the effect that hepatitis B and C have on the lives of the 500 million people affected worldwide.1 The campaign focuses on the physical and emotional impact of viral hepatitis, but also aims to empower those living with the diseases though the sharing of inspirational stories.
The WHA has launched the campaign to generate increased understanding and help destigmatise two diseases that kill over one million people every year1. The campaign has been specifically designed to allow national patient groups to adapt it and develop their own awareness raising programmes that educate the general public, create unity, engage policy makers and reinforce the scale of the problem.
Since its launch in 2008, World Hepatitis Day has used the theme of ‘Am I Number 12?’ to raise awareness of the global incidence of hepatitis B and C, as collectively the diseases affect one in 12 people worldwide. As a new theme, ‘This is hepatitis…’ will sit underneath the umbrella ‘Am I Number 12?’ campaign, and over the next two years will communicate four key messages:
- Prevention: ‘Get Protected’ – knowing the risk factors for hepatitis B and C is the most important step in preventing new infections
- Diagnosis: ‘Get Tested’ – getting tested for hepatitis B and C is quick and simple, and if people think they might be at risk, they should get tested immediately
- Protection: ‘Get Vaccinated’ – in the case of hepatitis B there is a vaccine and the disease is preventable through immunisation Treatment: ‘Get Treated’ – in many cases, treatment for hepatitis B and C is effective
“Ignorance and confusion around hepatitis B and C is still far too common, and I know from my personal experience, the challenges that people living with viral hepatitis face on a day-to-day basis” explained Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance.
“The World Hepatitis Alliance is launching the ‘This is hepatitis…’ campaign in the hope that patients will feel empowered to speak out about their own experiences and to help educate and support others.”
Increased understanding and education among the global community is an essential first step in reducing the significant number of people being newly infected with hepatitis B and C every year as well as delivering the ultimate goal of eradicating these devastating diseases.
The WHA has developed thought-provoking campaign materials to promote the new theme, which will be available to patient groups as part of their preparations for World Hepatitis Day 2010. New campaign materials will again be translated into seven languages; Arabic, English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.