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Singer Jon Secada to Bring “Tune In To Hep C” to Hispanic Community

Jon Secada, three-time GRAMMY® award-winning Cuban-American recording artist and songwriter, is adding his voice to the Tune In to Hep C public health campaign to help raise awareness of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This new bilingual portion of the campaign is called Hepatitis C-Toca El Tema.

Jon Secada, three-time GRAMMY® award-winning Cuban-American recording artist and songwriter, is adding his voice to the Tune In to Hep C public health campaign to help raise awareness of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. This new bilingual portion of the campaign is called Hepatitis C-Toca El Tema.

Secada recently revealed that his father passed away in 2011 from complications associated with chronic HCV infection, a disease that disproportionately affects the Hispanic community. He hopes that sharing his family’s personal experience through this bilingual awareness campaign will activate Hispanic-Americans with chronic HCV to take action and speak to their doctors about their options.

“My father chose not to tell anyone about his disease for a long time, and he chose not to take action against it for reasons I may never understand. Before he passed away, he told me that he wanted me to share his story to help other people like him who have chronic hepatitis C but aren't taking action,” said Secada, who was unaware of his father’s diagnosis for more than a decade. "You can’t be silent with a silent disease that has consequences like chronic hepatitis C -- you need to talk to your doctor and talk to your family. Take it from me, the people who love you want to be there to help you, and want you to be there for them.”

The American Liver Foundation partnered with Merck on the Tune In to Hep C campaign to help address barriers that can keep people from managing their disease, including lack of awareness and social stigma. “Chronic hepatitis C disproportionately affects the Hispanic community but, unfortunately, there is stigma and low awareness of the disease and its potential complications, so it is not widely discussed among Hispanics in the US,” said Newton Guerin, president and chief executive officer, American Liver Foundation. “We hope Jon’s desire to turn his family’s loss into a positive message for those who face this disease will encourage them to take action.”

Information about chronic HCV in the Hispanic community, as well as exclusive video of Secada telling his personal story, can be found on www.HepatitisCTocaElTema.com, a Spanish-language website that launched today. Secada’s story, along with Gregg Allman and Natalie Cole’s, also can be found on the campaign’s English website, www.TuneInToHepC.com. Spanish language information on a variety of liver related conditions is made available here by the American Liver Foundation.

Page updated: February 16th, 2012