Every year, we commemorate World Hepatitis Day (WHD) and re-commit to addressing viral hepatitis, a disease that affects approximately 400 million people worldwide, killing an estimated 1.4 million people each year according to the World Health Organization. Despite serious consequences including liver cancer and liver failure, viral hepatitis remains a “silent killer” and many people at risk as well as many health care providers are not fully informed about the causes and consequences of viral hepatitis.
In May 2011, after the adoption of a hepatitis resolution during the 63rd World Health Assembly, World Hepatitis Day was designated as an annual global observance on July 28 to “stimulate the strengthening of preventive and control measures of this disease in Member States.”
This year, White House leadership is joining together with national viral hepatitis leaders, patient advocates, and other partners on Wednesday, July 30, 12:00 PM – 2 :30 PM (EDT) for an important event, “Recognizing Leadership on World Hepatitis Day.” We invite you to learn more about viral hepatitis and its global burden and join WHD commemorations and our collective work to address viral hepatitis around the world.
Tune in to the Live Webcast of the White House Recognizing Leadership on World Hepatitis Day
The White House event is co-hosted by the Offices of National HIV/AIDS Policy and National Drug Control Policy, and the White House Initiative for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and will feature discussions about domestic and global responses to viral hepatitis.
The event will also feature remarks from senior federal officials as well as community leaders including:
- Mr. Michael Botticelli, Acting Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
- Mr. Douglas Brooks, Director, White House Office of National AIDS Policy
- Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
- Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Dr. Paul Farmer, Founder and Chief Strategist, Partners in Health
The event will be webcast at www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Get Involved and Join the Global Conversation on Social Media
Be a part of the global conversation the week of World Hepatitis Day (July 28-August 1). Below are opportunities to learn about viral hepatitis and WHD events around the world, ways to reach global audiences, and get connected with the worldwide response to viral hepatitis.
- Join the conversation on Twitter: #WorldHepatitisDay and #ThinkHepatitis.
- Visit the World Hepatitis Day pages by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Hepatitis Alliance.
- Visit the official World Hepatitis Day page. Join the photo wall, Thunderclap, and share events.
- Watch the official World Hepatitis Day video.
- Visit AIDS.gov for coverage of previous World Hepatitis Day observances.
- Take the 5-minute viral hepatitis risk assessment by CDC and encourage others to learn more about their risk.
- Lead your organization’s or community’s response to viral hepatitis and develop a strategic plan using the Stakeholders’ Workbook.
Following the past week at the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) in Melbourne, Australia, where I was pleased to see greater attention than ever before on viral hepatitis, the observance of World Hepatitis Day on July 28 will help increase global awareness still further and sustain momentum in responding to this global public health issue affecting many regions of the world.
At the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Ronald Valdiserri, MD, MPH, is deputy assistant secretary for health, infectious diseases, and director of the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy. This article was originally published on AIDS.gov.