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Five new stories from Taiwanese people living with hepatitis B to recognize Hepatitis Awareness Month

The Hepatitis B Foundation’s #BtheVoice storytelling campaign is a global effort to elevate the voices of those living with hepatitis B. hepatitis awareness month 211x206

Doylestown, Pa., May 8, 2024 – For Hepatitis Awareness Month, the Hepatitis B Foundation is releasing new stories from five Taiwanese adults as part of our global #BtheVoice storytelling campaign, which conveys powerful, personal accounts from people affected by hepatitis B, a disease that currently affects nearly 300 million people worldwide. 

The new storytellers Cash, CC, Jacky, Jamie and Mike – all talk about their having become infected with hepatitis B at birth. That’s all too common around the world, though it’s easily preventable when the mother knows if she has hepatitis B and treatment is available. 

Taiwan PRFive news additions to our #BtheVoice campaign is perfect way to recognize Hepatitis Awareness Month, spotlighting the needs of people living with hepatitis B and the importance of diagnosis and treatment to control chronic hepatitis B and prevent liver cancer,” said Hepatitis B Foundation President Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH. Hepatitis B is a primary cause of liver cancer, but it can be prevented with a vaccine and managed with medication.” 

Those interventions significantly reduce the likelihood of developing liver cancer and other complications, Dr. Cohen points out, which in 2022, took the lives of about 1.1 million people worldwide. 

To watch the #BtheVoice stories by Cash, CC, Jacky, Jamie and Mike and to access the complete #BtheVoice video library with more information, visit 

The Hepatitis B Foundation is planning a range of activities for Hepatitis Awareness Month. In collaboration with the nonprofit Vaccinate Your Family, we are distributing a new set of educational materials about the need to get vaccinated for hepatitis B. The free materials are posted here. 

The Foundation is co-hosting a May 16 Congressional Briefing on “Preventing Liver Cancer & Hepatitis B in the U.S.: A Step Towards Viral Hepatitis Elimination in Washington, D.C. The briefing is being co-hosted by AAPCHO, the Deadliest Cancers Coalition and Congressional Hepatitis Caucus co-chairs Rep. Nydia Velázquez and Rep. Hank Johnson at 12 p.m. in the Rayburn Office Building.  

Speakers will include: 

  • Megan Gordon Don, Director, Government Affairs & Advocacy, Deadliest Cancers Coalition; 
  • Jonathan Mermin, MD, MPH, Director, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD & TB Prevention, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;  
  • DeWayne, #justB Storyteller and hepatitis B advocate, Hepatitis B Foundation, and 
  • Adam Carbullido, Director of Policy & Advocacy, Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations. 

To register for the briefing, click here.  

Also during Hepatitis Awareness Month, the Foundation will be conducting a May 25 screening event in Philadelphia, postinga new vignette, releasing a special episode of our B Heppy podcast and sharing special messages through social media and newsletters.  

Hepatitis B often is unknowingly passed on for generations. When babies are born to mothers with the disease, there isgreater than 90% likelihood of their babies developing chronic hepatitis B if they do not receive appropriate treatment at birth. Its crucial for expectant people to be aware of their hepatitis B status to avoid transmitting the virus to their newborns during childbirth. You can learn more about the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine on our website.  

At 14, Cash discovered she had hepatitis B during a routine school health check. Initially, she was informed that everything was normal and treatment was unnecessary. But doctors later found a liver tumor in her that was a malignant cancer. Cash underwent surgery, joined a clinical trial to prevent cancer recurrence and is taking antiviral medication to manage the virus.   

CC discovered he had hepatitis B in high school during a blood donation. Despite routine health check-ups, CC experienced an episode of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) at the age of 48. Despite the acute nature of his severe hepatitis, CC could not get immediate antiviral treatment due to a policy restriction on prescription eligibility to specialists. CC now urges the government and policy makers in Taiwan to relax treatment guidelines for hepatitis B and emphasize that antiviral treatment not only controls the virus but also lowers the risk of liver cancer, a leading cause of death in Taiwan.  

Jacky found out he had hepatitis B during his first check-up in college. At first, he was told no treatment was needed as everything appeared normal. However, last year, he experienced esophageal bleeding due to liver cirrhosis. After surgery, he started antiviral treatment and stopped drinking alcohol.Jacky's journey is a reminder that with positive lifestyle changes, one can overcome the challenges posed by hepatitis B.  

Jamie found out about her hepatitis B infection during her first year of college. With both her maternal grandmother and mother having chronic hepatitis B, Jamie, who also is fighting Lupus, started antiviral therapy for hepatitis B. She encourages young people to openly discuss their infections to fight social stigma and looks forward to more advanced treatments in the future. Jamie stresses the significance of early hepatitis B treatment, highlighting its lower cost compared to treating liver cancer.  

Mike, like the other Taiwan storytellers,acquired the hepatitis B virus from his mother at birth. Though he did not display any noticeable symptoms initially, he experienced a sudden and severe hepatitis flare-up in 2005. Since then, he has been on oral antiviral medication to manage the virus, a treatment he still follows today.In 2012, he discovered a liver tumor for the first time. Despite surgical removal, it unfortunately recurred twice. After multiple surgeries and treatments, he is fortunate to have stabilized both his hepatitis B and liver cancer for many years. Mike encourages individuals with chronic hepatitis B to have regular check-ups and eliminate unhealthy habits, so they can enjoy long and healthy lives.  

The #BtheVoice storytelling project was launched in May 2017 in partnership with StoryCenter and Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO). The B the Voice Story Bank expands our storytelling efforts internationally in addition to our #justB storytelling campaign about people living with hepatitis B in the U.S. and Canada. It was made possible by individual donors and educational grants from Arbutus Biopharma, Dynavax Technologies, Gilead Sciences and Janssen pharmaceuticals.  

About hepatitis B: The world’s most common serious liver infection, chronic hepatitis B, is caused by a virus that attacks and injures the liver. Each year up to 1 million people die from hepatitis B worldwide, even though it is preventable and treatable. Hepatitis B is a “silent epidemic” because most people do not have symptoms when they are newly or chronically infected. Thus, they can unknowingly infect others and continue the spread of hepatitis B. For people who are chronically infected but don’t have any symptoms, their livers still are being silently damaged, which can result in serious liver diseases such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.  

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: As the world’s leading hepatitis B advocacy and research organization, the Hepatitis B Foundation is one of the most active proponents of improving hepatitis B screening, prevention, and treatment of the disease. We are the only 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. Founded in 1991, the Hepatitis B Foundation is based in Doylestown, Pa., with offices in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. To learn more, go to, read our blog at, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@hepbfoundation) or call us at 215-489-4900.