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  • Happy NAIRHHA Day!

    Today is NAIRHHA Day! Every September 9th, the Hepatitis B Foundation brings awareness to National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Awareness Day. Founded by advocates in Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and New York, NAIRHHA Day has been observed annually on September 9th by healthcare professionals, awareness campaigns, and other organizations since 2014. The Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC), Hepatitis B Foundation and the Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO) are working to establish NAIRHHA day as their own federally designated awareness day. Hepatitis B and HIV in African Immigrant Communities  People of African origin are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B infection. Worldwide an estimated 292 million people are infected with chronic hepatitis B. Over 60 million people in Africa have hepatitis B which annually accounts for an estimated 68,870 deaths.1 In fact, in some African communities in the United States, between 5%-15% of people have chronic HBV infection. Unfortunately, due to the silent nature of the disease, lack of disease awareness, and limited health care access, most African community members who have hepatitis B DO NOT KNOW that they are infected. This puts them at much greater risk for premature death from cirrhosis or liver cancer. There is a high burden of HIV/HBV co-infection in African countries because both diseases share similar transmission routes such as mother-to-child, unsafe medical and injection practices, and unscreened blood transfusions.2 Chronic HIV/HBV infection is reported in up to 36% of people who are HIV positive, with the highest prevalence reported in west Africa and southern Africa. The co-infection of HIV and HBV is especially dangerous because it accelerates liver disease such as fibrosis and cirrhosis. In fact, liver-related mortality is twice as high among people with an HIV/ HBV co-infection.2  With approximately 54,000 people with HBV who immigrate to the

    https://www.hepb.org/blog/happy-nairhha-day/
  • Recap of NAIRHHA Day 2020 Celebration

            By Beatrice Zovich On Monday September 21st, a virtual celebration was held in honor of the sixth anniversary of National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day. This day, which itself is commemorated on September 9th, was created to build awareness and dismantle stigma around HIV and viral hepatitis in African immigrant and refugee communities. It takes place in September because this is the month that has been designated as National African Immigrant Month (NAIM) in the United States to celebrate the diverse and remarkable contributions African immigrants have made to enrich the United States, in spheres ranging from sports to writing to politics. The virtual celebration that occurred last Monday included a discussion of the history of NAIRHHA Day and how it came to exist in its present form, a conversation with a hepatitis B advocate who is living with the disease, discourse about the importance of NAIRHHA Day on the national level and implications for making it a federally recognized day, and trivia questions about HIV and hepatitis B. History of NAIRHHA Day: The Journey from 2014 to Present Moderator: Chioma Nnaji, MPH, MEd, Program Director, Multicultural AIDS Coalition Panelists: Augustus Woyah, Program Officer for Minority AIDS Initiative, Maryland Department of Health Amanda Lugg, Director of Advocacy and LGBTQ Programming, African Services Committee The idea for NAIRHHA Day was first conceived in 2006 at a convening of the Ethiopian Community Development Corporation in Washington, DC, at a session sponsored by Office of Minority Health about HIV in African immigrant communities. Conferences started to occur, primarily in the Northeast, although there was also interest in Atlanta and Seattle. It seemed that an opportunity had finally become available for advocates, researchers, and providers to all come together and focus on data collection, community mobilization, and policy work around HIV and

    https://www.hepb.org/blog/recap-nairhha-day-2020-celebration/
  • NAIRHHA Day 2020

    Commemorating National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV & Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day 2020 Each year in September, the Hepatitis B Foundation, along with partners around the U.S., recognizes National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day. Founded by advocates in Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and New York, NAIRHHA Day has been observed annually on September 9th by healthcare professionals, awareness campaigns, and other organizations since 2014. Although not yet nationally recognized, the Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC) and the Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO) are working to establish NAIRHHA day as its own federally designated awareness day. As explained by Chioma Nnaji, Director at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition’s Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) program, there is a great need to establish NAIRHHA day as its own day. “Several of the current awareness days are inclusive of African immigrant communities, but do not comprehensively address their unique social factors and cultural diversity, as well as divergent histories and experiences in the US.” Why NAIRHHA Day? People born outside of the U.S. often face different health challenges than those born in the country and face various barriers to accessing important healthcare services. African immigrants (AI) are disproportionately burdened by HIV and hepatitis B. Advocates for NAIRHHA Day recognized the need to address these health issues in the community and thought that a combined awareness day would be the most effective way to reach the largest number of people impacted. Hepatitis B presents a significant public health burden for many African countries, and subsequent immigrant populations living in the United States. Although data is limited on hepatitis B infection among African immigrant (AI) and refugee communities in the U.S., studies have shown infection rates are high – between 5 and 18%1,2,3,4,5. One community

    https://www.hepb.org/blog/nairhha-day-2020/
  • The History of National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV & Hepatitis Awareness Day 2019

      Each year in September, the Hepatitis B Foundation recognizes National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness Day (NAIRHHA). Founded by advocates in Massachusetts, Washington D.C., and New York, NAIRHHA Day has been observed annually on September 9th by healthcare professionals, awareness campaigns, and other organizations since 2014. Although not yet nationally recognized, the multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC) and the Coalition Against Hepatitis B for People of African Origin (CHIPO) are working to establish NAIRHHA day as its own federally designated awareness day. As explained by Chioma Nnaji, Director at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition’s Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) program, there is a great need to establish NAIRHHA day as its own day.  “Several of the current awareness days are inclusive of African immigrant communities, but do not comprehensively address their unique social factors, cultural diversity as well as divergent histories and experiences in the US.” Why NAIRHHA Day?  People born outside of the U.S. often face different health challenges than those born in the country and face various barriers to accessing important healthcare services. African immigrants (AI) are disproportionately burdened by HIV and viral hepatitis. Advocates for NAIRHHA Day recognized the need to address these health issues in the community and thought that a combined awareness day would be the most effective way to reach the largest number of people impacted.  Hepatitis B presents a significant public health burden for many African countries, and subsequent immigrant populations living in the United States. Although data is limited on hepatitis B infection among African immigrant (AI) and refugee communities in the U.S., studies have shown infection rates are high - between 5 and 18%1,2,3,4,5. One community study in Minnesota even found AIs accounting for 30% of chronic hepatitis B infections 6. AI communities are also known to be

    https://www.hepb.org/blog/history-national-african-immigrant-refugee-hiv-hepatitis-awareness-day-2019/
  • 2017 Commemoration of National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV & Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day

    On Wednesday, September 13th, the Multicultural AIDS Coalition - Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) program, Hepatitis B Foundation, and Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO) commemorated NAIRHHA Day by hosting a webinar discussing “Barriers and Strategies to Addressing HIV and Hepatitis B among African Immigrants: A NAIRHHA Day Webinar.” More than 100 people participated in the webinar. The majority represented government agencies and community-based organizations. This year is particularly exciting because lead organizers also submitted a request to HIV.gov (formerly AIDS.gov) to officially recognize NAIRHHA Day on Sept. 9th as a federal HIV awareness day for African immigrants and refugees in the U.S. As discussed during the commemorating webinar, there is growing data related to the disproportionate impact of hepatitis B, as well as HIV on African immigrants in the US. African immigrants are underdiagnosed due to lower screening rates and present at a later stage of the disease compared to the general US population. Stigma is seen as the major barrier. In addition, the lack of knowledge about transmission, disease prognosis and treatment are widespread, reducing the likelihood that individuals will seek out testing and treatment services. NAIRHHA Day was launched in 2014 in an effort to address these issues. It is a joint venture organized by the Multicultural AIDS Coalition - Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) program, Hepatitis B Foundation, and Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO). As explained by Chioma Nnaji, Director at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition – Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) program, “Several of the current awareness days are inclusive of African immigrant communities, but do not comprehensively address their unique social factors, cultural diversity as well as divergent histories and experiences in the US.” In addition to providing an overview on HIV and HBV epidemiological

    http://www.hepb.org/blog/2017-commemoration-national-african-immigrant-refugee-hiv-hepatitis-awareness-nairhha-day/
  • Blogs

    Blogs Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: Happy NAIRHHA Day 2021! Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: CHIPO Is Looking for New Members! Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: Recap of NAIRHHA Day 2020 Celebration Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: Tackling Hepatitis B in Africa: The First Nigerian Hepatitis Summit Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: Hepatitis B and D Coinfection in Central Africa Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: Raising Awareness about Hepatitis B in African Immigrant Communities in the US Hepatitis B Foundation Blog: The History of National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness Day 2019

    https://www.hepb.org/research-and-programs/chipo/resources/blogs/
  • Member Organizations

    AFAHO (African Family Health Organization), Philadelphia AFAHO provices health, human and educational services to African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees in the greater Philadelphia area. Learn more at www.afaho.org l hikma@afaho.org l 215.546.1232 African Services Committee, New York City African Services Committee (ASC) is a non-profit human rights organization dedicated to improving the health and self-sufficiency of the African community and anyone who needs our services. African Services Committee provides health, housing, legal, educational, and social services to more than 6500 newcomers each year in New York City. ASC has also worked on the frontlines of the global AIDS epidemic since 2003, operating three clinics in Ethiopia, and through advocacy and policy work in the U.S. and abroad. Learn more at www.africanservices.org | @africanservices | 212.222.3882  Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Philadelphia American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennslyvania Chapter, Media, PA Dedicated to the health and well-being of children in Pennsylvania. Learn more at www.paaap.org l awishner@paaap.org l 484.446.3040 Asian American Health Coalition/HOPE Clinic Asian Health Coalition, University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago The Asian Health Coalition, established in 1996, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to improve the health and wellness of Asian American and other ethnic minority communities through advocacy, technical assistance, community-based education, and research. Learn more at www.asianhealth.org l alia@asianhealth.org l 773.834.6599 Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Columbus Department of Public Health, Columbus, OH Dallas/Fort Worth Hep B Free Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health, Philadelphia Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services (ETSS), Columbus, OH Gilead Sciences, Inc.  Hepatitis B Coalition of Washington, Seattle Hepatitis B Foundation Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington, D.C. (HBI‐DC) Hepatitis Education Project, Seattle Horn of Africa Rescue Committee Houston Department of Health and Human Services Illinois Public Health Association, Springfield, IL The Illinois Public Health Association is the oldest and largest public health association in the state of Illinois. As one of the largest affiliates of the American Public Health Association, IPHA is widely recognized as a leader in the field of public health advocacy, health education and promotion. Learn more at https://www.ipha.com/#gsc.tab=0 l mnyambe@ipha.com l 618.406.9415 International Community Health Services, Seattle Maine Immigrant Access Health Network Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MN Midwest Asian Health Association, Chicago and Aurora, IL Midwestern University. Downers Grove, IL Minnesota Department of Health Montefiore Einstein Starfish Program, Bronx, NY Mount Sinai Medical Center/Project HONE, New York City Multicultural AIDS Coalition/Africans for Improved Access, Boston Our organization's efforts focus on ensuring high quality, accessible HIV/STI prevention, care, and treatment services. Our services also target accessing vital services and research projects for African Immigrants living in the Greater Boston area. Learn more at www.mac-boston.org l aadigwe@mac-boston.org l 978.328.6017 National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day New York City Hepatitis B Coalition New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene New York University School of Medicine Obala Foundation, Taunton, MA Office of Minority Health, Center on Health Disparities Office of Viral Hepatitis Coordination, NYC Department of Health Ohio Asian American Health Coalition, Columbus, OH PA Immunization Coalition, Media, PA The Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PAIC) is an organization of volunteers consisting of individuals and organizations that have an interest in advancing the mission of timely and effective immunizations for all Pennsylvania residents. Mission: To promote timely and effective immunizations for all Pennsylvania residents across their life span. Vision: The PAIC is a diverse group of passionate, energetic, and committed partners working together to ensure that no one in Pennsylvania suffers from vaccine preventable illnesses. We believe this can be achieved through focusing our efforts on education, advocacy, and access. Learn more at www.immunizepa.org l smihailescu@paaap.org l 484.446.3040 Partnerships for Health, Augusta, ME Philadelphia Department of Public Health Somali Family Safety Task Force, Seattle St. Catherine University, St. Paul, MN https://www.stkate.edu/academics/hssh/public-health-department l lmunala@stkate.edu l 651.690.6265 University of Maryland School of Medicine

    https://www.hepb.org/research-and-programs/chipo/member-organizations/
  • Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO)

    The Coalition Against Hepatitis for People of African Origin (CHIPO) is a national community coalition co-founded and led by the Hepatitis B Foundation. We are comprised of organizations and individuals interested in addressing the high rates of hepatitis B infection among African communities in the U.S. CHIPO serves as a forum for sharing information and best practices, and improving national capacity to improve hepatitis B awareness, testing, vaccination and treatment among highly affected African communities. People of African origin are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B infection. In fact, in some African communities in the U.S., between 5% and 15% of people have chronic HBV infection. Unfortunately, due to the silent nature of the disease, lack of disease awareness, and limited health care access, most African community members who have hepatitis B DO NOT KNOW that they are infected. This puts them at much greater risk for premature death from cirrhosis or liver cancer. The key to addressing the high burden of hepatitis B infection in people of African origin is to improve awareness and access to hepatitis B information, screening, vaccination, and follow-up care. CHIPO brings together people from around the country who are working in their own local communities to address these very issues.   Join CHIPO! Does your organization serve African immigrant populations in the U.S., or are you a passionate community member? All are welcome at CHIPO's coalition calls! The next call will take place on Monday November 15th, 2021 and will feature a presentation by Dr. Noemi Tousignant on her paper Filtering Inequality: Screening and Knowledge in Senegal's Topography of Hepatitis B Care. Email beatrice.zovich@hepb.org if you are interested in joining!  News and Updates Check out our latest blog post, which provides an overview of CHIPO's goals and objectives, where we've been and where we're going. We hope you join us! Recent Journal of Medical Virology Article (September 2021): Viral Hepatitis Amidst COVID-19 in Africa: Implications & Recommendations  Recent Lancet Article (August 2021): Arresting Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus (AVERT-HBV) in Pregnant Women & Their Neonates in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: A Feasibility Study Recent article (April 2021): Self-Testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV Using Finger-Stick, Whole-Blood, Multiplex Immunochromatographic Rapid Test: A Pilot Feasibility Study in Sub-Saharan Africa Recent Frontiers in Pharmacology article (April 2021): Filtering Inequality: Screening and Knowledge in Senegal's Topography of Hepatitis B Care  Article (January 2021) in International Journal of Women's Health: Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection and Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Virus Infection Among Pregnant Women Presented to Antenatal Care Clinics at Adigrat General Hospital in Northern Ethiopia Major Article Published in Nature on Hepatitis B in Africa: The silent epidemic killing more people than HIV, malaria or TB     View our Publication! Barriers to Hepatitis B Screening and Prevention for African Immigrant Populations in the United States: A Qualitative Study (2020) From our Partners Montefiore Einstein Starfish Project is offering FREE hepatitis B testing for West Africans in the Bronx, NYC. Click here for more details.  African Services Committee in New York City recently delivered a presentation on Project DELIVER: Decreasing and Eliminating Liver Cancer by Increasing Viral Hepatitis Testing & Educational Resources. Click here to view the presentation. ASC has also recently created a flyer in both English and French about understanding your hepatitis B test results. View this resource here. Read about a new initiative of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health to improve linkage to HBV care for West African migrants in the Barcelona metro area, a project known as HBV-COMSAVA. View the presentation here.  Our partners at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition have undertaken a project to explore the "Impact of COVID-19 on African Immigrants Living in New England - A PhotoVoice Project." View their presentation here. In March of 2021, we were joined by Dr. Brian McMahon and Shaun Shadaker of the CDC, who led a webinar entitled "Linkage to Care and Treatment for Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Infection in Dar es-Salaam and Zanzibar, Tanzania." View the slides here.  In July of 2021, we were excited to host Dr. Patricia Jones, a hepatologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Miami, for her talk on "Understanding Perceptions of Hepatitis B & Hepatocellular Carcinoma Among Ethnically Diverse Black Communities in South Florida." View the slides here.  From our Blog Happy NAIRHHA Day 2021! Recap of NAIRHHA Day 2020 Celebration The History of National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV & Hepatitis Awareness Day 2019 Tackling Hepatitis B in Africa: The First Nigerian Hepatitis Summit Where is Hepatitis Delta? High Prevalence of Hepatitis B/Delta Coinfection in Central Africa Raising Awareness about Hepatitis B in African Immigrant Communities in the US CHIPO Call Minutes July 2021 January 2021 November 2020 July 2020 May 2020 January 2020  Social Media       

    https://www.hepb.org/research-and-programs/chipo/