Liver Disease Information
In Your Area
American Liver Foundation
39 Broadway, Suite 2700
New York, New York 10006
The American Liver Foundation joins the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the national Know More Hepatitis awareness campaign and National Viral Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19, 2012. In hundreds of communities across the country, hepatitis awareness programs and testing will take place to help identify millions of Americans who have chronic viral hepatitis but do not know they are infected.
In launching the program at the American Liver Foundation, CEO Newton Guerin said, “We are pleased to be a leader in this important day of awareness surrounding chronic hepatitis. Every day at the American Liver Foundation we talk to people who had no idea they were infected with hepatitis until their first symptoms appeared and often that means the disease has progressed. However, with early detection of the disease, there are now significant treatments that often can lead to a cure. We hope thousands will take the opportunity to be tested on May 19, 2012 and if necessary start the journey toward a cure.”
Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic in the United States and more than 4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. Every year, approximately 15,000 Americans die from liver cancer or chronic liver disease associated with viral hepatitis. Despite these statistics, viral hepatitis is not well known. In fact, as many as 75 percent of the people with chronic viral hepatitis are unaware they have this serious condition.
People with risk factors such as receiving a blood transfusion prior to 1992 or who have shared IV drug needles – even once – or have had received a needle stick as part of their medical profession are most at risk. The highest concentrations of those infected with viral hepatitis are baby boomers or those born between 1946 and 1965. It is estimated that one in every 33 baby boomers has viral hepatitis. Often people who have chronic hepatitis do not know when or where they were infected and that makes it even more important to take advantage of free testing available in many communities on National Hepatitis Testing Day, May 19.