CAPAC Members Commemorate World Hepatitis Day

Jul 27, 2018 Issues: Healthcare

WASHINGTON, D.C. - July 28, 2018 marks World Hepatitis Day, which is observed annually to raise global awareness about viral hepatitis and encourage the eradication of this disease. One in twelve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders live with chronic hepatitis B and two-thirds of those who are infected are not aware of their status. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) issued the following statements:

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“World Hepatitis Day is an important time to raise awareness about the global health threat of viral hepatitis, which impacts far too many communities worldwide. Unfortunately, this ‘silent killer’ disproportionately impacts the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, which accounts for over 50 percent of those living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States.

“Even though hepatitis is both preventable and treatable, many people do not become aware of their status until it is too late. That’s why my CAPAC colleagues and I are committed to raising awareness about this disease. I encourage everyone to get tested and take the steps necessary to achieve life-saving care. By working together, we can put this ‘silent killer’ to rest.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), CAPAC Healthcare Task Force Co-Chair:

“Over 400 million people around the world currently have hepatitis, and a quarter of those individuals are also living with HIV. World Hepatitis Day reminds all of us to take our health into our own hands. As co-chair of CAPAC’s Health Task Force, I’m working with my colleagues to make sure that all Americans, especially the most vulnerable and communities of color, can stay healthy. Congress needs to support community education, testing and lifesaving treatment. Only by working together can we eradicate this disease.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus Co-Chair:

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Viral Hepatitis Caucus, I am committed to raising awareness and making sure we dedicate resources to combating this disease. In particular, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) disproportionately affects Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) who account for more than half of HBV cases in the United States despite making up only 6% of the population. At least one-third of Asian Americans in the U.S. are unaware that they have a chronic hepatitis B infection and therefore go untreated. On World Hepatitis Day, I join my colleagues in emphasizing the importance of getting tested for HBV in order to stay healthy. I will continue to support finding a cure and raising awareness of this horrible disease in Congress.”

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.