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Tag Archives: Hepatitis Awareness Month

Do You Know Your Hepatitis Facts from Fiction?

Hepatitis-Awareness-Month(2)
May is Hepatitis Awareness Month!

In recognition of May as Hepatitis Awareness Month, Liver Cancer Connect reviews some important facts and dangerous fiction about chronic hepatitis B and C- the world’s leading causes of liver cancer.  Continue reading "Do You Know Your Hepatitis Facts from Fiction?"

HBF and HBUP’s Hepatitis B Awareness Raising Event at the Philadelphia Art Museum

 

What a great hepatitis B awareness raising event for the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) and Hep B United Philadelphia (HBUP). The event took place at on the “Rocky Steps” of the Philadelphia Art Museum.  Participants including student volunteers, community leaders and health care professionals were dressed in their super hero t-shirts and red capes for their run up the steps to raise HBV awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hep B Heroes joined Philadelphia Councilman David Oh as he presented a city council resolution to eliminate Hepatitis B in the City of Philadelphia.

 

A special guest appearance was made by HBF’s own mascot, O’Liver B Hepatitis. In the past, O’Liver has appeared at numerous public events, and he was thrilled to step up and raise HBV awareness on the Rocky Steps.

 

 

 

 

 

Multicultural dancers get a thumbs up from O’Liver as he and other participants enjoy their performance on the steps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B A Hero. B sure. Get Tested. Get vaccinated…

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Mother’s Day by Breaking the Cycle of Hepatitis B Transmission From Mother to Baby

Great blog written by Corinna Dan, RN, MPH, Viral Hepatitis Policy Advisor, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, HHS , discussing the strategy to eliminate perinatal transmission of hepatitis B in the U.S. In many parts of the world, transmission from an HBV infected mother to her baby is the most common mode of transmission.  If you are a pregnant woman, please ask your doctor to screen you for hepatitis B. If you learn you have hepatitis B, talk to your doctor to be sure your baby receives appropriate prophylaxis within 12 hours of birth so you can break the cycle of transmission from mother to baby. Happy Mothers Day! 

Eliminating Perinatal Transmission of Hepatitis B: More Than Just a Test 

Hepatitis B in the U.S.

Nationally, new hepatitis B infections have been reduced by 82% since 1991 because of the availability of safe and effective vaccines, as well as improved prevention in healthcare settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1.4 million Americans are living with chronic hepatitis B infection. Unfortunately, many of these people became infected before the widespread availability of the hepatitis B vaccine in the early 1980s. Most are unaware of their infection, which places them at greater risk for severe complications of the disease, and for transmitting the virus to others. For women of childbearing age, this lack of awareness also increases the likelihood of transmitting hepatitis B to their infants.

Perinatal hepatitis B – spread from an infected mother to her infant at the time of birth – is estimated to account for 800-1,000 new infections each year in the United States. Unfortunately, this number of annual new, preventable infections has remained unchanged in recent years, which is why the elimination of mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis B is one of the main goals of the Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. As the Plan observes, the persistent annual number of perinatal hepatitis B cases is particularly concerning because approximately 90% of HBV-infected newborns develop chronic infection; up to 25% of these children will die of cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer later in life.

Tackling Perinatal Hepatitis B

To achieve the goal of eliminating perinatal HBV, the Action Plan calls for the provision of postexposure prophylaxis (i.e., hepatitis B immune globulin and hepatitis B vaccine) to all infants born to HBV-infected women, a strategy consistent with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in its “Comprehensive Immunization Strategy to Eliminate Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States.” This recommended treatment is to be provided within 12 hours of birth followed by timely completion of the rest of the three-dose hepatitis B vaccine series, to prevent the infant from contracting hepatitis B. The Action Plan and ACIP also observe that care coordination is needed to ensure that infants born to HBV-infected women receive the services needed to protect them against hepatitis B.

A vital partner in these efforts to eliminate mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis B is CDC’s Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) which supports activities in all 50 states, six cities, and five territories. The PHBPP was established in collaboration with state/local health departments and healthcare providers to promote use of the available tools – prenatal testing and vaccines – to reduce perinatal HBV transmission. The program works to identify pregnant women who are infected and provides case management services to ensure that infants receive the appropriate vaccines after birth to help prevent perinatal transmission. This program has been successful, ensuring that 95% of the identified infants born to infected mothers and case managed by the program received hepatitis B immune globulin and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within one day of birth and 83% of these infants complete the hepatitis B series by 12 months of age. In addition, whenever possible, the mother is counseled about hepatitis B and encouraged to talk with her healthcare provider for a full HBV evaluation. The program also seeks to identify household and sexual contacts of women who test HBV-positive – CDC reports that in 2011 the programs identified 9,681 such contacts – providing prevention information and recommending screening.

Despite these successful outcomes, challenges remain; the PHBPP estimates it identifies and case manages only about half of the expected births to hepatitis B infected women annually. Although hepatitis B screening is recommended for all pregnant women as part of routine prenatal care, not all women are screened. Some women do not seek or remain in prenatal care. In other cases, even when HBV screening occurs, health departments are not informed of screening results that reveal a pregnant woman is infected with hepatitis B – in some cases this is because such reporting is not required in that jurisdiction, in other cases it is an error or oversight. Under these circumstances, the health department cannot connect the expectant mother and her family to the services available through the PHBPP.

Another key support to efforts to eliminate perinatal HBV transmission is the implementation of provisions of the Affordable Care Act that will help improve prenatal hepatitis B screening. Under the Affordable Care Act, the hepatitis B test for pregnant women is among the Preventive Services that new health insurance plans issued after September 23, 2010 are required to cover without the consumer having to pay a copayment or co-insurance or meet her deductible. By making hepatitis screening more widely accessible and eliminating cost barriers, the healthcare law will also help bring us closer to the Action Plan’s goal of eliminating perinatal transmission of HBV.

In order to further reduce the number of infants who are perinatally infected with hepatitis B, healthcare providers, practices, and hospitals that care for pregnant women need to increase awareness and efforts to accurately report hepatitis B-infected pregnant women and refer the families to the PHBPP.

What Can Healthcare Providers Do?

Healthcare providers play a key role in eliminating perinatal hepatitis B. Steps that healthcare providers can take include:

  • Ensure that your practice is collaborating with the public health department to report women who are chronically infected so that their infants can benefit from case management. The CDC viral hepatitis reporting form [PDF 46KB] is available online.
  • Educate your patients about hepatitis B and listen to their concerns; the CDC has great educational materials available for patients.
  • Work with your local hospitals and birthing centers to ensure that they are following recommended policies and procedures.
  • Reach out to your state/local Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator if you have any questions or need additional assistance to implement the CDC recommendations.

What Can Pregnant Women Do?

  • Ask your healthcare provider if you were tested for hepatitis B and what the result of the test was.
  • Learn more about hepatitis B to make sure your new infant receives the preventive services needed to prevent hepatitis B infection at birth and throughout your child’s life.
  • If you learn that you are living with hepatitis B, check out the CDC’s frequently asked questions and talk with your healthcare provider to find out what you should do to stay healthy and ensure that you will be there to nurture and watch your child grow.

On this Mother’s Day during Hepatitis Awareness Month, please take the opportunity to learn more about hepatitis B and what steps you can take to realize the goal of eliminating mother-to-infant transmission of this preventable disease.

Please link to the original article if you would like to listen to this blog in it’s entirety.

 

Hepatitis B Awareness Month at HBF

Daniel Chen - "Hep B Hero", HBF Public Health Program Manager, today's guest blogger

“B a hero!” is not simply a slightly-cheesy-yet-very-awesome campaign theme and slogan. It is a statement that we stand behind and strive for. It is about having the courage to stand up for the disenfranchised among us. It is about taking the time and effort to improve the lives of those we could have easily ignored. It is about not just doing the right thing, but going above and beyond.

Over 900 people. That’s the number of people we provided free hepatitis B screening tests for within just the past 12 months. The screening tests were offered at 17 different events that took place all around the city.

Over 70 organizations. That’s the number of partners we currently work with to serve the community and empower the underserved. Besides hosting screening events, our partners also help us raise awareness through education, provide in-language patient follow up service for linkage to care, connect us with new partners, and many more aspects of our work in the community.

Over 30 vaccine clinics. That’s the number of vaccine clinics we will have held in collaboration with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health at community sites by the end of 2013. By hosting the clinics at community sites, we remove the transportation and language barriers and make vaccines much more accessible for community members.

The list of accomplishments goes on. And all of this became possible because Philadelphia, as a city, has decided to “B a hero”. So get involved this May and help us celebrate the Hepatitis Awareness Month by coming out to one of our events. Come and support heroes everywhere in our fight against hepatitis B.

Friday, May 17

Hepatitis B Awareness & Media Event

11:30am-12:15pm @ Rocky Steps (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy)

Join us in celebration of Hepatitis Awareness Month and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by running up the Rocky Steps with us! All participants get a “B a hero” t-shirt and a cape. City Councilman David Oh will present a city council resolution, and a surprise performance will take place when we reach the middle level of the steps.

Saturday, June 1

Independence Dragon Boat Regatta

8am-5pm @ Schuylkill River (Kelly Drive, near St. John’s Boathouse)

Come cheer for team Philadelphia Hep B Heroes as well paddle our way to victory! The regatta is a family event with lots of entertainment such as cultural performances, rock climbing, and of course the exciting dragon boat races. So visit the Hepatitis B Foundation/Team Philadelphia Hep B Heroes tent for some snacks and cheer for our heroes.

Additional event:

Saturday, May 11

Hepatitis B Screening & Mini Health Fair

10am-1pm @ AmeriCare Pharmacy (600 Washington Avenue, Unit 18E, Philadelphia)

May Hepatitis Awareness Month would be incomplete without a screening event. In collaboration with the Jefferson Medical College APAMSA medical students and the AmeriCare Pharmacy, we will be providing free hepatitis B screening tests for those who were born in Asia or whose parents were born in Asia. Additional service such as blood pressure and blood glucose measurements will also be available at this event.

An Event-Filled Hepatitis Awareness Month for the Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B United Philadelphia

Hepatitis Awareness Month has come to a close, and it has been one exciting, busy month for those of us at HBF and Hep B United Philadelphia. In the course of 6 weeks, we have had many of our major events of the year – nearly all featured during Hepatitis Awareness Month or on Hepatitis Testing Day.  Have a look at what we’ve been up to this past month…

HBF preceded the month with its annual, signature fund-raising event. The Crystal Ball was held April 27th and was a very successful, enchanted evening for all in attendance. HBF exceeded goals for the year, and we were pleased to honor Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), who was presented with the Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for his leadership in creating the HHS Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis.

The Hepatitis B Foundation was selected as this month’s featured partner by CDC NPIN. What a great honor, and a wonderful opportunity for HBF to showcase some of our programs, services and materials.

On May 15th, AAPCHO and HBF, with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, launched the Hep B United national campaign.  This unique partnering and collaborative effort will bring attention and action to end hepatitis B – especially among high-risk Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the U.S. You’re going to see a lot of activity out of Hep B United...

HBF’s Director of Public Policy & Affairs set off to Washington D.C. to attend the Congressional Briefing on Chronic Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer hosted by our champions in Congress.  Keeping Hepatitis in the hearts and minds of our elected Representatives is paramount in supporting viral hepatitis efforts in our country.

Hep B United Philadelphia wrapped up its awesome “B A Hero” PSA video contest and finalists and winners were announced. Check out these great PSAs!

Hepatitis Testing Day and the days leading up to the event were extremely busy for the Hepatitis B Foundation, Hep B United Philadelphia, and Partners. We kicked off testing day with our awareness-raising Flash Mob Event in Love Park in Philadelphia. This fantastic event included special guests Mayor Nutter, and Councilman David Oh, and plenty of other notable Hep B Heroes in attendance.  It was an honor to receive a City Proclamation by Councilman Oh, supporting efforts to eradicate hepatitis B in the city of Philadelphia. And of course the students put their spin on the event with a “B A Hero” Rap. You have to listen to this...

Saturday, Hepatitis Testing Day, Hep B United Heroes donned their hero capes for the Hepatitis Testing Day Event held at the Asian Pacific Heritage Festival in Philadelphia. It was a successful event with 112 screened. Those screened and in need of vaccination will be provided with the HBV vaccination series, free of charge, from the Philadelphia Department of Health.

That same day, Hepatitis B Foundation heroes hosted HBF’s B Informed Conference. This year’s conference was specifically directed to parents of children with hepatitis B. This was an incredible full-day conference. Expert specialists in the field addressed both the medical issues and personal challenges of parenting a child with hepatitis B.  It was a wonderful opportunities for parents to meet and discuss, face-to-face, with families facing like challenges. Lasting bonds were created that day. You’ll want to check back at a later time to read a reflection on the day, and access information presented by our expert speakers.

And finally we end this month’s awareness efforts this weekend by participating in the Philadelphia Independence Dragon Boat Regatta. Team Philadelphia Hep B Heroes will (hopefully) row their boat to victory, but even if they don’t win, they are winners at heart. The team is composed not of an expert crew, but rather Hep B United Philly community partners, student partners and staff. If you’re in Philly, stop by and cheer the team to victory. Plenty of team members will be at the event to raise HBV awareness and discuss hepatitis B testing, prevention and treatment.

There were a lot of Hep B Heroes out there this month.  Feel free to share the events of your organization this month!

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is Hepatitis Awareness Month! What are you or your organization doing to help educate and raise HBV awareness in your community? Will you be holding viral hepatitis screening events, or other events?

The CDC has launched the “Know More Hepatitis Campaign”, which is an educational initiative striving to educate the public about viral hepatitis and encourage screening. They have designated May 19th as the first Hepatitis Testing Day. Organizations around the country will be providing viral hepatitis screening. Many will be focusing on at-risk populations. This is a great opportunity to get tested to be sure of your HBV or HCV status. Talk to the members of the organizations running the screening to learn more about these diseases, and what you can do to get involved.  Don’t forget to register your viral hepatitis screening event with the CDC, or check out screening events in your area.

The Hepatitis B Foundation and Hep B United Philadelphia have a couple of big activities planned for Hepatitis Awareness Month. On Friday, May 18th, we will be having our “B A Hero” Photo Flash mob event in Love Park in downtown Philadelphia. Everyone is excited about the event.  Some of the students have created a Hep B Rap video to get everyone psyched for the event! We also have some fabulous guests slated to make an appearance. If you’re downtown that day be sure to join us! If you’re nowhere near Philly, consider organizing your own Flash Mob! Its lots of fun and a great opportunity to raise HBV awareness with a splash!

Hep B United Philadelphia will also be offering free HBV screening at the Asian Festival on Saturday, May 19th from 12pm-3pm at the Pennsylvania Governor’s Asian Pacific Heritage Festival, at Franklin Square Park in Philly.  Folks that are screened will get a free Hepatitis B tote bag and will be entered into a raffle to win a free Kindle! Counseling will be available in Chinese, English and Korean. Educational literature will be available in Chinese Vietnamese, Korean, Lao, Khmer, and Indonesian. Look for Hep B United Philly’s tent in the health fair section, along with blood pressure, glucose and vision screening. It’s going to be a great event!

The Hepatitis B Foundation will be hosting the B Informed Parent Conference in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday, May 19th. This will be an incredible opportunity for parents of kids with hepatitis B to meet with leading pediatric experts in the field that address both medical issues and the personal challenges of parenting a child with hepatitis B. It is also a wonderful opportunity for parents to meet face-to-face with other families facing similar challenges.  Be sure to check out the detailed program agenda, and if you are a family with a child living with HBV, or know of a family living with HBV, please encourage them to attend this unique event. Pre-registration is required, though there is no charge for the event. And if that’s not enough, here are 10 reasons you need to get yourself to Philly for this event…

So let us know what you are up to for Hepatitis Awareness Month!  If you’re not already part of an organization, lend a hand and volunteer at a screening in your community. If you speak another language, volunteer your translation services, or hand out pamphlets. Make a commitment to start your own organization, or join an organization. Don’t feel like getting out there? Become an at-home HBV advocate and use social media channels such as twitter or Facebook and support viral hepatitis efforts right from home, or your phone. The opportunities are endless!