The theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is “I Can’t Wait,” and it’s based on the broader “Hepatitis Can’t Wait” campaign launched in 2021. The campaign highlights the need to ramp up the fight against viral hepatitis and encourage testing and treatment for those who need it.
The global awareness day is observed annually on July 28, the birthday of Baruch Blumberg, the man who in 1967 discovered the hepatitis B virus and developed the first hepatitis B vaccine two years later. The day aims to amplify the voices of people affected by viral hepatitis and to fight the stigma and discrimination so often associated with the disease.
Viral hepatitis—which includes hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E— affects millions of people worldwide and leads to more than 1 million deaths every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B and C can cause other serious health problems, such as liver cancer and cirrhosis.
“With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness, we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis,” the World Hepatitis Day website states.
The campaign will bring together the World Hepatitis Alliance’s 300-plus members across 100 countries to call on policymakers and global leaders to join the fight to eliminate hepatitis and focus on the positive action required to meet the 2030 elimination goals.
To get involved, visit the World Hepatitis Day website, which suggests various ways you can “make sure that the world knows that Hepatitis Can’t Wait.”