On Friday, July 25, advocates for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the African American community will present their second annual Hepatitis C Action Day, which will help bring awareness and education about the deadly liver disease to black communities across the country, according to a release from National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA), which is helping mobilize the event.

NBLCA efforts are joined by the Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (COPE) and the Harm Reduction Coalition. The annual awareness day will work with local health partners, government agencies and elected officials to draw more national attention to this regularly neglected epidemic.

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22 percent of the nearly 3.2 million people living with chronic hep C are African American, which is higher than any other racial or ethnic group in the country. People most at risk include baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965), anyone who received a blood transfusion before 1992 (when widespread testing for the disease in the blood bank supply first began) and people who inject drugs.

This year’s awareness effort kicked off in western New York with a new public service campaign on bus shelter and radio. Radio announcements are also running in several other cities across the country.

For more information about National African American Hepatitis C Action Day testing events and resources, visit nblch.org/.