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Hepatitis B Foundation launches B the Voice Story Bank

Doylestown, Pa., Aug. 18, 2020 – The Hepatitis B Foundation today is launching its new B the Voice Story Bank, an initiative to gather the stories of people around the world affected by hepatitis B.

Documenting and sharing the impact that hepatitis B has on individuals, families and communities is essential, the Foundation believes, for continuing the momentum to find a cure for hepatitis B and to achieve the goal of global elimination by 2030.

“Centering the voices of people living with hepatitis B is critical in raising awareness, combating stigma and discrimination, and encouraging more people to speak out or take action in other ways,” Rhea Racho, MPAff, the Hepatitis B Foundation’s public policy and program manager said. “That’s true whether it means getting tested for hepatitis B, talking to a doctor, educating family or community members about prevention or advocating for resources and policies to support countrywide hepatitis B elimination.”

The B the Voice Story Bank builds upon the success of the Foundation’s national #justB campaign, which it launched in partnership with Story Center and the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) in May 2017. 

"The #justB campaign has been a great success, based on the participation and feedback  we've gotten from the hepatitis B community, so we're thrilled to expand this effort," Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, senior vice president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, said. "This new component provides many more people with the chance to tell their stories about living with hepatitis B with others around the world, and the Foundation and our partners will continue sharing this compelling content through our social media and other means."

The stories shared through the #justB campaign have been very valuable, Dr. Cohen says, to support advocacy and outreach efforts. The Hepatitis B Foundation’s partners, including national organizations, community-based organizations, local health departments, government and industry have made use of the stories. The #justB campaign's archive of first-person video segments is hosted here on the Hepatitis B Foundation's website.

Almost 300 million people worldwide live with chronic hepatitis B, but most of their stories remain untold. Often this is due to the negative stigma surrounding the virus, fear of discrimination, lack of community awareness or understanding of the disease and lack of support for those who wish to speak out publicly about hepatitis B. 

The new B the Voice Story Bank provides an online platform for people living with hepatitis B, their families, community health workers and health care providers to share their firsthand knowledge and experiences with a global audience. They can submit their stories using an online form, along with any photos and personal details they wish to share. Submissions are confidential and can be made without disclosing a person’s full identity. 

Individuals are encouraged to share stories about their diagnosis, living with hepatitis B, access to care and treatment, stigma and discrimination, education and advocacy, support and caregiving, services and programs and other related topics.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The nation’s leading 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, the Hepatitis B Foundation is based in Doylestown, Pa. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900. To donate, contact Jean Holmes at 215-489-4900 or jean.holmes@hepb.org.