Saturday, April 26, 2008

Why the World should ask, "Am I Number #12?"

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24 /PRNewswire/ --
- More Than 200 Patient Groups Launch Global Viral Campaign
- - - - - - -
The World Hepatitis Alliance and over 200 patient groups around the
world are asking 'Am I Number 12?' ( to increase
awareness of the shocking statistic that one in 12 people on the planet are
living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C and yet the majority of those
infected are unaware.
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Three weeks ahead of World Hepatitis Day on Monday 19 May, the World
Hepatitis Alliance is launching a viral campaign aimed at getting people
talking about the fact that approximately 500 million people globally are
living with either hepatitis B or C. The World Hepatitis Alliance is asking
people to sign-up to to show support for the
campaign but also to receive valuable information about a disease that
kills some 1.5 million people a year.
The 'Am I Number 12?' campaign has already kicked off in 64 countries
and high-profile campaigns are being coordinated from Sydney to Serbia and
from Beijing to Buenos Aires. Charles Gore, President of the World
Hepatitis Alliance, said that with 1.5 million people dying every year,
chronic viral hepatitis could no longer be ignored. "Through the 'Am I
Number 12?' campaign and activities around the world on 19 May we aim to
put hepatitis B and C firmly on the global healthcare agenda," Mr Gore
Mr Gore continued that unlike other disease areas, awareness of
hepatitis B and C remains inexplicably low: "We believe that, unless
awareness improves, we won't make any progress in reducing the enormous and
largely preventable death toll. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C should have the
same profile as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB and should really be up there
alongside those diseases in the WHO's millennium goals."
Did You Know?
- 500 million people worldwide are currently infected with
hepatitis B or C
- This is over 10 times the number infected with HIV/AIDS
- Between them, hepatitis B and C kill 1.5 million people a year
- One in every three people on the planet has been exposed to
either or both viruses
- Most of the 500 million infected do not know
World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day will be observed on Monday 19 May and marks a brand
new, entirely patient-led initiative. The day has been launched in response
to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis has nowhere near the level of
awareness nor the political will to tackle it that is seen in HIV/AIDS, TB
and malaria. This is despite the fact that the numbers chronically infected
with, and annually killed by, hepatitis B and C viruses are on the same
scale. 'Am I Number 12?' campaign materials are available in over 40
languages - for logo images, postcards, posters and banner ads please
contact the World Hepatitis Alliance at
World Hepatitis Alliance
World Hepatitis Day is being coordinated by the World Hepatitis
Alliance, a newly established Non-Governmental Organisation which
represents more than 200 hepatitis B and hepatitis C patient groups from
around the world. The World Hepatitis Alliance is governed by a
representative board of patient groups from seven world regions: Europe,
Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, North America, South America,
Australasia & Western Pacific. For more information visit on Monday 19 May.
Contact Information:
International - Lorna Croft,
T: +44-20-7395-7067,
E: .
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SOURCE World Hepatitis Alliance
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