This Saturday, July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. It is a time to reflect on the global impact of viral hepatitis, and to raise awareness of the continued need for legislators and health care leaders to support measures that improve access to prevention, screening, and treatment of hepatitis infections.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 257 million people worldwide – approximately 3.5% of the world’s population – are living with hepatitis B.
WHO estimates that 71 million people worldwide – approximately 1% of the world’s population – are living with hepatitis C.
In the US, estimates put the number of Americans living with hepatitis B at over 2 million, and over 3.5 million Americans are currently living with hepatitis C.
There are vaccines to prevent hepatitis A and B, and curative drugs to treat hepatitis C infections long before they can have the chance to cause significant long-term damage to the liver and health of the person with the virus. You can find more information on viral hepatitis Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site.
The O’Neill Institute’s Hepatitis Policy Project’s website has a wealth of information on hepatitis C statistics and policy updates on the efforts to improve access to screenings and treatment. The Project’s latest feature tells the stories of people affected by hepatitis C and their journeys from diagnosis to treatment.
To see if you are at risk for hepatitis A, B or C, take this online risk assessment to determine if you should get vaccinated and/or tested for viral hepatitis.