Go to Hepatitis B Foundation home page

2. Why is the hepatitis B virus called the silent killer?

I got involved because I realized this was such a big problem - but, I asked myself, why should I as a surgeon become an advocate? Aren't there tons of liver specialists? Yes, but the problem is there is no money. I call hepatitis B and liver cancer the Silent Killer in Asians and Asian Americans - 1 in 10 are infected, and in some coastal areas of China, even 2 or 3 out of 10 are infected. Very often, they don't even know they are infected. The problem is that a lot of the doctors aren't aware of the prevalence, and they are not up to date on the latest treatments. They feel that there is nothing you can do about it, so they don't give patients the right information on how to take care of themselves. This is a disease that kills a million people a year. It ranks as the #10 or #11 cause of death in the world. It kills a million - which, my calculations, means that it kills 1 person every 30 seconds. But how many times do you hear people talk about hep B? No one writes about it, no one talks about it. That's why I want to energize you and help you figure out what you can do in your local community - write to your local newspaper and get someone to do a story about hepatitis B.