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OCA Promotes Hepatitis B Awareness
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OCA Promotes Hepatitis B Awareness

19 May 2010

Lan Nguyen | Program Associate
202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OCA, a national Asian Pacific American (APA) social justice organization with over 80 chapters and affiliates, encourages all community members to get screened, vaccinated and learn more about hepatitis B today, on World Hepatitis Day. Asian Pacific Americans are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B, a life-threatening disease that is often undetected.

Approximately one in ten APAs are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and make up more than half of the 2 million HBV carriers in the United States. Hepatitis B is the cause of 80 percent of all liver cancers worldwide and HBV carriers can transmit the virus unknowingly. Due to the high prevalence of HBV, APAs are 2.4 times more likely to have liver disease than non-Hispanic Whites and have the highest rate of liver cancer among all ethnic groups. Yet studies have shown that more than half of APAs have not been screened or vaccinated for HBV.

OCA calls on community leaders to continue to educate and advocate for the increase of culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare access.

"Hepatitis B has long been a major issue for our community. OCA continues to work diligently on educating our members and the local APA community about this disease,” said Ken Lee, OCA National President, "OCA promotes the visibility and awareness of hepatitis B through health fairs, discussions, and working in coalition with APA health organizations.”

Today, the HHS Office of Minority Health, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations (AAPCHO) and national hepatitis advocacy organizations held a briefing with hepatitis B and C experts and patients to raise awareness and create action around reducing hepatitis transmission.


Ask Members of Congress to co-sponsor the House and Senate resolutions designating May 19th as World Hepatitis Day and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month. Call your Member of Congress’s DC office by calling (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative’s or Senator’s office. Once connected, ask to speak to the heath issue staff person. Whether you speak to this person directly, leave a message or e-mail, tell them:

"My name is ____________________ and I'm a constituent of Representative/Senator____________________. I am calling to urge my Member of Congress to co-sponsor a Congressional Resolution designating May 19th as World Hepatitis Day and the month of May as National Hepatitis Awareness Month.

"Hepatitis B and C affect over 5 million Americans and is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the most deadly, expensive, and fastest growing killers of Americans every year, and the leading cause of liver transplants each year. This Resolution is an important, cost-neutral and non-controversial step to increase the much-needed awareness of hepatitis among the American public and our health providers. This is important to me personally because________."

(If calling Rep:) H.RES.1302 was introduced with bipartisan support from Representatives Joseph "Ahn" Cao, Mike Honda, Hank Johnson, Charlie Dent, and Bill Cassidy.

(If calling Senator:) The Senate Resolution is going to be introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein and we need you as a co-sponsor."
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