Hepatitis B Foundation creates two Global Community Advisory Boards
People living with and affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis delta will provide input to industry, government and nonprofits working on drug development.
Doylestown, Pa., July 18, 2022 – To further its work as the world’s leading nonprofit dedicated to hepatitis B and liver cancer, the Hepatitis B Foundation has formed two new Global Community Advisory Boards.
At the Foundation’s invitation, 81 people worldwide, primarily people living with hepatitis B and delta infections, applied to serve on the advisory boards. One board, which has 14 members, is dedicated to hepatitis B and the other, with nine members, is devoted to hepatitis delta, or hepatitis D. Members represent Albania, Australia, Canada, Cameroon, Ghana, India, Israel, Mongolia, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Senegal, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda, the U.K. and the U.S.
The Foundation will work to share the board members’ perspectives, experience and expertise with those engaged in drug development and clinical research in hepatitis B and D. A primary goal is to ensure that the voices of those living with HBV and HDV are central to decision-making by industry, government and nonprofits, and to drive progress toward cures for hepatitis B and D.
“The Hepatitis B Foundation always has placed a high value on the voices of people with hepatitis B and D, and their loved ones,” Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Foundation, said. “We believe that no major strides can be made without understanding the lived experience of those affected by these diseases. We are extremely grateful that so many people agreed to serve on the advisory boards and contribute their time, energy and ideas.”
Advisory board members will participate in discussions with drug and clinical trial developers, represent the advisory boards at public events and conferences, and contribute to outreach and education in their home communities. The boards’ meetings, to be held quarterly, will be online due their worldwide membership.
About Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection in the world. It is caused by the hepatitis B 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 and asymptomatic, liver damage can still occur silently and can develop into more serious liver disease, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.
About Hepatitis Delta: Hepatitis delta, also known as hepatitis D or HDV, is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis delta virus that results in the most severe form of viral hepatitis known to humans. Only those already infected with hepatitis B can acquire hepatitis delta, as it is dependent on the hepatitis B virus to reproduce. Of the more than 296 million people living with hepatitis B, an estimated 15-20 million are also infected with hepatitis delta. Coinfections lead to more serious liver disease than hepatitis B infection alone. They are associated with faster progression to liver fibrosis, increased risk of liver cancer, and early decompensated cirrhosis and liver failure.