FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May, 2014
Asian American and Pacific Islander Health Community Leaders Gather at 2014 Hepatitis B Summit in Washington, DC
National Coalition Develops Action Plan for Prevention and Treatment of Hepatitis B in Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
WASHINGTON, DC (May 2014) – Hep B United, a national coalition to address and eliminate
hepatitis B convened in Washington, DC during May National Hepatitis Awareness Month.
Coalition partners discussed priorities for improving testing and linkage-to-care to prevent
hepatitis B-related liver disease and liver cancer among Asian American and Pacific Islander
“Our community has long been dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of hepatitis B screening and encouraging testing for those with the greatest risk, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, who are disproportionately affected. We are so pleased to come together this week and discuss how to remove some of the barriers to testing and ensure that infected
individuals around the U.S. are able to get the care they need,” said Joan M. Block, executive director of the Hepatitis B Foundation and co-chair of Hep B United.
“This 2nd annual Hep B United summit represents an important step forward in our efforts to address and eliminate the hepatitis B-related health disparities facing the diverse and medically underserved AAPI population in the United States,” said Jeffrey B. Caballero, M.P.H., executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and co-chair of Hep B United.
Members of community coalitions representing local and state health departments, healthcare providers, policymakers, students and individuals living with hepatitis B across the country met with federal officials and legislators to discuss collective goals including:
• Raising the profile of hepatitis B and liver cancer as an urgent public health priority;
• Increasing hepatitis B testing and vaccination, particularly among Asian Americans and other at-risk communities;
• Improving access to care and treatment for individuals living with hepatitis B to prevent end-stage liver disease and liver cancer.
The priority areas identified by coalition partners in the updated community action plan aligns with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Viral Hepatitis Action Plan and include:
• Educate health care providers and communities to reduce health disparities
• Improve testing, care, and treatment to prevent liver disease and cancer
• Eliminate Perinatal Transmission
• Strengthen surveillance to detect viral hepatitis transmission and disease
“I want to recognize the importance and tremendous advocacy efforts of Hep B United for keeping the issue of hepatitis B alive in the U.S., said Ronald Valdessari, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled a new multilingual public service announcement as part of the Know Hepatitis B campaign targeting the Asian American community. The PSA will be available in Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese and is scheduled to air in cities later this summer.
About Hep B United Hep B United: Hep B United is a national coalition to address the public health challenge of hepatitis B by increasing awareness, screening, vaccination and linkage to care for all Americans, but in particular, for high-risk Asian American and Pacific Islander populations who are disproportionately impacted. For more information about Hep B United and its local coalition members, please visit http://hepbunited.org.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation: Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., the Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://wp.hepb.org, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.
Page last modified May 27, 2014