THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Hep B United and CDC team up for multilingual testing campaign

Hep B United, a national coalition addressing hepatitis B public health challenges, announced a partnership on Wednesday with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for a multilingual testing campaign.

The campaign will be the first-ever multilingual campaign to test Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B. The CDC developed the Know Hepatitis B campaign to encourage testing among AAPIs. The campaign will include online ads, print ads, social media, PSAs and education materials in English, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.

Hep B United and its local affiliates will incorporate the messages of the campaign into promotional efforts with healthcare providers, patients and local partners.

"We are eager to partner with CDC on this important initiative," Joan Block, the co-chair of Hep B United, said. "Too often, the linguistic needs of AAPIs are overlooked which means a large segment of the AAPI population is unable to access available programs and services. This partnership and resources are the right step towards improving the health of these high-risk communities."

AAPIs account for more than 50 percent of the 1.2 million Americans estimated to be living with chronic hepatitis B. AAPIs consequently have the highest rate of liver cancer among all ethnic and racial groups. Hepatitis B is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine and treatable with approved medications.

"The announcement of a multi-lingual campaign to increase education and testing for hepatitis B is yet another landmark step in the fight against this silent killer," Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) said. "As founding co-chair of the Congressional Hepatitis Caucus, I applaud Hep B United, the Department of Health and Human Services, and CDC for their tireless efforts. The AAPI population is disproportionately impacted by hepatitis B, and it is past time that cultural and language appropriate care become available to turn the tide against this terrible disease."

On Wednesday, Hep B United issued its first Hep B United Champion awards to recognize extraordinary commitment and leadership in addressing the disease in AAPI communities.

"Today we have honored individuals and organizations in the community, and our federal partners, who through their diligent efforts have sought to truly alter the impact the disease has had on AAPIs," Jeffrey Caballero, the co-chair of Hep B United, said. "We commend them for their leadership and unwavering dedication to this work."