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Revisiting Hepatitis C: Natalie Cole and Her Liver Disease Battle

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Our much anticipated new year, 2016, started on a rather sad note with the passing of beloved music icons, David Bowie and Natalie Cole, who both suffered from liver diseases. As the world mourns this loss, ADRLF takes a closer look at hepatitis C — and why it is called a “silent killer” for a reason.

After being diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2008 and decidedly wanting to make a difference by raising awareness, Natalie Cole opened up about her health struggles with this liver disease, which she acquired from her previous use of intravenous drugs. She underwent heavy interferon treatment which caused stress and fatigue. While coping with the side-effects of heavy hepatitis C treatment, Cole developed serious kidney failure that necessitated regular dialysis, and ultimately a kidney transplant in 2009.

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Natalie Cole’s battle with hepatitis inspired awareness of this silent but deadly disease. (Photo Credit: Flickr/Creative Commons/dbking)

Hepatitis C affects around 150 million people worldwide, accounting for an estimated 500, 000 deaths each year. In the US alone, over 2000,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

This blood-borne virus is commonly transmitted through unsanitary sharing of needles and syringes, and unscreened blood transfusion. It can also be sexually transmitted; and an infected pregnant woman can pass it to her child.

One of the challenges in diagnosing hepatitis C is that most infected people do not exhibit any symptom for years. Ms. Cole, for example, had been off of intravenous drugs for over 25 years when she was diagnosed with hepatitis C.

There are no vaccines for hepatitis C, but oral treatment is now available at high costs. Antiviral medicine treats about 90% of people with hepatitis, significantly reducing the risk of developing liver cancer.

Testing remains the best and most affordable tool against hepatitis C. The CDC highly recommends hepatitis C screening for people with increased risks including those from the baby boomer generation (born between 1945-1965); people with a history of injected drug use; those who have had organ transplants, blood transfusion, and/or hemodialysis treatment; children born to mothers with hepatitis C; and people with HIV or other symptoms of liver disease such as jaundice and abnormal liver enzyme levels.

Taking a cue from Natalie Cole’s courageous battle against hepatitis C, ADRLF shares this unforgettable reminder: Screen. Vaccinate. Don’t hesitate.

Click here to know more about the World Health Organization key recommendations on hepatitis C treatment

For health professionals, click here to learn more about hepatitis C management

Having Transitioned to a New Year — One More Chance to Support ADRLF!

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States
and is the leading cause of liver failure, liver cancer and liver transplants.

Season’s Greetings!

2015 has been a great year for ADRLF as we continue to increase awareness about Hepatitis and liver cancer. We are grateful and humbled by your generous support of our cause.

Our dear Al Rodriguez would be in awe of how ADRLF continues to honor his memory by helping those who can’t afford testing and treatment in the greater New York area. We have stuck close to our mission: Screen. Vaccinate. Don’t Hesitate!

Support liver health awareness with your donations to ADRLF. (Photo credit: Romel/Flickr Creative Commons)

Support liver health awareness with your donations to ADRLF. (Photo credit: Romel/Flickr Creative Commons)

ADRLF has had a big year in 2015. “Karaoke Nights 2 – A V-Day Edition Benefit,” in partnership with the William F. Ryan Center, allowed tons of ticket buyers (including some celebrities) to sing their hearts out as free testing for Hepatitis and HIV was offered throughout the night. Additionally, we’re proud to announce that, in honor of World Hepatitis Day, ADRLF had a successful social media outreach event, which increased awareness and reinforced community partnerships. We gained new followers from the event, increasing the amount of people who are listening to, and hopefully absorbing, the information we provide.

What is more important than where we have been is where we are going. We are planning other education and screening sessions. We are looking for organizations to partner with on endeavors. We want everyone to know the facts about Hepatitis and liver cancer. We cannot do it without your help.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B. However, it can be prevented by a currently available vaccine, which is 95% effective in preventing infection.

We ask that you continue this important journey with us by gifting us with your tax-deductible donation! Your gifts help us in providing educational outreach, free screenings and vaccinations and more. One day soon, hopefully everyone will understand Hepatitis and its link to liver cancer. That day is unfortunately not here yet – and until it is, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.

We wish you and yours a happy and peaceful Holiday Season — and a wonderful New Year!

The ADRLF Board

Darcy Becker, Lisa Collins, Cara Joy David, Harriett D. Foy, Elana Hayden, Carson Kressley,

 Dr. Carlos Ortiz, Crayton Robey & Daniella Stromberg

 

Stress Management Tips for a Liver-Friendly Holiday

Friday, December 25th, 2015

The excitement and pressures of the hectic holiday season can add stress to our daily routine – including skipping meals, overindulging in candy and alcohol, and forgetting medications. Increased stress levels not only dampen the holiday spirit but also affect liver health — especially of those who are suffering from liver diseases like hepatitis. As a holiday gesture, ADRLF shares some useful tips to help you manage holiday stress and make the most of this joyful season.

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Managing your diet over the holidays

From savory items to desserts, holiday feasts usually feature a delectable array of foods, which often happen to be high in fat and cholesterol. Socializing over the holidays often includes alcohol.  But you don’t have to be such a scrooge and miss out on these holiday offerings to stay healthy. Eat smart by filling your plate first with generous servings of healthy choices such as lean meat, greens and whole grains, and then sampling smaller portions of other treats. Explore non-alcoholic beverages and fortify your liver with anti-oxidant-rich drinks such as green tea and milk thistle.

Also, keep a regular eating schedule to avoid overeating. Even when doing last minute holiday shopping, make sure not to skip meals.

Managing Your Medications over the holidays

Staying on course with your medication can be very challenging during the holidays. However, it is very important to keep track of your drug intake — whether they’re prescribed medications or vitamins and supplements — to ensure a healthy and well-functioning liver. When misused, medications can actually do more harm than good.

Children and older adults face higher health risks, if they miss a dose or more of medication. Elderly people, in particular, have a lower capacity to process medicine, and may have adverse reactions to drug intake changes.

Read and understand the dosage and schedule instructions of your medications. And do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you have any concerns — including questions on alcohol intake. With holiday parties abound, note that mixing alcohol and medicine can be dangerous, so caution is advised. With the hustle and bustle of the holiday, make sure to set phone alarms for each medication. For more information, check out this helpful guide.

Wishing you a bright and wonderful holiday season from ADLRF!

Traveling This Holiday Season? Vaccinate Against Hepatitis A

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Holiday travel brings some of our most treasured memories. However, it takes careful planning and preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. One task you should seriously consider adding to your list — particularly for international travels — includes setting-up an appointment with your doctor to specifically see if your vaccinations are up-to-date. Your discussion should also include inquiring about receiving a vaccination for hepatitis A, a highly contagious liver disease that is common across the globe, including popular destinations in Central and South America.

Make sure to have the necessary vaccines before traveling this holiday season. (Photo credit: "The Layover" by Matthew/Creative Commons)

Make sure to have the necessary vaccines before traveling this holiday season. (Photo credit: “The Layover” by Matthew/Creative Commons)

Hepatitis A is among the most common causes of foodborne infection. It spreads through contact with contaminated food or drinks, as well as direct contact with an infected person. It is prevalent in areas with unsafe water supplies and poor sanitation. This disease is also transmitted when harvesting and processing fruits and vegetables; and undercooking contaminated food.

People infected with hepatitis A develop mild to severe fever, and other symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pains/discomfort, jaundice, nausea, and appetite loss. However, as with other hepatitis infections, some infected people may not show any symptom at all. Children 6 years old and younger often do not show noticeable symptoms. This is particularly alarming as hepatitis A can lead to acute liver failure.

To date, there is no treatment for hepatitis A, and recovery from severe symptoms can take weeks to months. Vaccination remains the best protection from this disease. While some countries have included hepatitis A vaccine in children immunization plans, it is important to make sure that you and your family are protected before you travel.

When planning to travel, get a hepatitis A vaccine at least two weeks before your departure. In some cases, if it’s been discovered that an individual has recently contracted hepatitis A, a medical provider can still administer the vaccine to try to combat the virus; however, this post facto inoculation will only work if the individual has been exposed to hepatitis A for less than 14 days.

Hepatitis A vaccine is usually given as a two-dose course. Consult your physician if you can opt for a combined shot for hepatitis A and B, or the combined shot for hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Look out for updated information on country-specific immunization requirements and current disease patterns. While many of the suggested travel vaccines are meant for those traveling to tropical and exotic areas, health risks during busy holiday seasons are not restricted to these destinations.

Ready for your Hepatitis A vaccine? Check out and share this handy information sheet for details. And safe travels for the season from ADRLF!

Coconuts: Superfood for the Liver

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Although considered something ‘exotic’, coconut has slipped its way into the average American diet — in some form or other — from oil and butter and dairy substitutes, to flavorful dishes and desserts, to the ever-expanding coconut water trend.  This tasty superfood is known to have health benefits including amino acids and nutrients that support the formation of healthy cholesterol levels in the body. But did you know that coconuts are also beneficial to the liver?

Coconut oil is rich in naturally-occurring medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) — fatty acids that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream, which therefore provide cellular nourishment and are less likely to be stored as fat. Along with the lauric acid content in coconuts, MCTs also fight parasites, yeast, bacterial overgrowth, and common viruses. From shredded flakes to pressed oils coconut products continue to be used for their anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties.

Include some coconut for a healthy and liver-friendly diet. (Photo credit: Creative Commons/Alex Masters)

Include some coconut for a healthy and liver-friendly diet. (Photo credit: Creative Commons/Alex Masters)

MCTs in coconuts help the liver detoxify. Compared to supplements or over the counter “detox” products, coconuts are safer for liver cleansing because MCTs are not stored as fat and are used for immediate energy.

Coconuts are also known to lessen toxins that back up in the bloodstream, which can lead to liver damage. In 2013, a study published in the Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology in 2013 found that virgin coconut oil can actually protect the liver from toxic antibiotic drugs.

Easy Coconut Buying Guide

Coconut products are readily available in the supermarket but if you have the option, choose organically grown coconuts. Some coconut products may contain pesticides or chemicals, or may have been processed in a way that its nutritional value has been decreased.  Also, when buying coconut oil, butter, and flour, choose those that are marked extra-virgin, cold pressed, or raw.  These are processed at low heat, which keeps the coconut as fresh as possible.  For shredded coconuts, it is best to buy the unsweetened variety. As an added measure, choose GMO-free brands so read labels carefully and look for the USDA certified seal.

With all the anti-viral, anti-bacterial and overall health benefits of coconuts, make sure to include this superfood in your diet. And to add some savory cheer to this holiday season, if our post has inspired you to make a naturally/lightly sweetened delicious coconut custard pie – go for it!

Celebrate Thanksgiving with Liver-Friendly Options

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday spirit has undoubtedly got everyone excited about the food – and love – overload that comes with Thanksgiving dinner. The highlight, of course, would be the turkey. Although Thanksgiving is considered a ‘cheat day’ for some, it’s comforting to know that turkey meat is actually on the healthier side of the food scale; it’s low-fat, high protein, and rich in vitamins and minerals including choline, folate, biotin, and selenium, which all help protect and support the liver.

But why stop with turkey?  Here are other healthy, liver-friendly recipes you can include in your Thanksgiving feast.

Explore liver-friendly selections for a healthy Thanksgiving feast. (Photo credit: Creative Commons ClaraDon)

Explore liver-friendly selections for a healthy Thanksgiving feast. (Photo credit: Creative Commons ClaraDon)

Pork Tenderloin with Seasoned Rub

Enjoy the antioxidant benefits of oregano and herbs in your Thanksgiving entrée

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Directions: Mix the following ingredients in a small bowl: garlic powder, oregano, cumin, coriander, thyme and salt. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, and put an oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat.  Smear some seasoning on the tenderloin, covering all sides of the pork. On the heated skillet, add olive oil and minced garlic and sauté for about a minute. Place the tenderloin in the pan and let the meat sear until each side turns brown. After searing the meat, put the pan into the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. (Note: You can also transfer the meat to an oven-safe roasting pan.) Remove the pork from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey

Beta-carotene and vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes support liver function

Ingredients:

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste (optional)

Fresh chopped parsley or rosemary for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place diced sweet potatoes (not to be confused with yams) on baking sheet. On a separate bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice and honey.  Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes and add some salt and pepper. Put the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until they are tender and evenly brown. Serve with rosemary or parsley as garnish.

Cilantro Lime Grilled Tofu Skewers

A liver-friendly barbeque alternative for Thanksgiving dinner

Ingredients:

1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu

Your choice of vegetables for grilling (thickly sliced zucchini, summer/yellow squash, red onion, colorful bell peppers and whole grape or cherry tomatoes are recommended)

1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

5 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (reserve approximately 1 teaspoon)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and black pepper to taste

Directions: Make sure to remove as much water from the tofu as possible. Slice the tofu lengthwise, then into cubes. Place the tofu into a shallow dish. Use a whisk to mix together the lime juice, olive oil, cilantro (minus the one teaspoon reserved), garlic, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in a bowl.  Pour the mixture over the tofu and leave to marinate for 2-8 hours.

Thread the tofu and veggies onto skewers once done marinating the tofu.  Preheat grill for medium heat, lightly oil the grate.  Grill skewers, brushing now and then with the marinade, until almost blackened in part.  Usually, 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from grill and, while still hot, pepper with fresh cilantro.

Pumpkin Spice Green Smoothie

An alcohol alternative with the traditional pumpkin spice flavor that’s good for your liver.

Ingredients:

1 cup sweetened, vanilla almond milk

½ cup canned pumpkin

½ banana

l tablespoon honey

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch ground nutmeg

pinch ground cloves

pinch allspice

1 scoop UltraNourish

1 handful of ice cubes

Directions: Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.  Adjust sweetness and spice to how you like it. Serves one.

Leftover Turkey with Squash Soup

Tired of the unending turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving?  Here’s another option.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 leeks, trimmed, chopped and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

4 cups shredded leftover turkey

2 cups frozen corn kernels

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions: Use Dutch oven to heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add the leeks and bell pepper.  Stir often for 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables starts to soften.  Add garlic and, still stirring, cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth, squash, thyme and cumin then cover.  Bring everything to a boil before reducing heat to medium-low.  Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Add the turkey and corn and return to a simmer.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the turkey and corn are heated through. Add in the lime juice and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For more liver-friendly recipes, check out this site

Trick or Treat! Liver care for the sweet tooth

Friday, October 30th, 2015

With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, it’s difficult not to get swept up into the holiday spirit without enjoying our favorite sweets and desserts. And sure, we’ve heard about the risks of diabetes, obesity and tooth decay from indulging in sugary treats. But do we also understand how these treats affect our liver? Here’s a short and sweet breakdown.

Sugar affects liver health so choose wisely when enjoying those treats.

Sugar affects liver health so choose wisely when enjoying those treats.

Quick liver function recap

The liver is the body’s main organ that processes food and drink intake, breaking it all down into simpler forms of vitamins, minerals and substances such as glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that goes into the bloodstream and the cells, serving as a source of energy. However, our body only needs a certain amount of daily glucose, and the excess gets stored in the liver.

Dangers of excess sugar

While glucose works as a fundamental “fuel” of the body, having too much can add unnecessary stress to the liver.  Liver diseases typically start as an inflammation. When not immediately treated, the inflammation leaves scarring that causes permanent liver damage. Experts have found that excessive sugar consumption and poor glucose regulation can spur liver inflammation. With a scarred liver, blood and other minerals cannot flow freely into the liver tissues, thus causing functional problems.

Taming a sweet tooth

Moderation is key when it comes to managing a sweet tooth – especially throughout this festive season. There are several ways to enjoy healthy and tasty treats without compromising liver health. Here are some suggestions:

Choose healthy treats. Dealing with sweet cravings can be challenging, so make sure to remember that you actually have healthy alternative options. Avoid food with added and refined sugar. Consider fruits, dark chocolate, frozen yogurt and other tasty foods with lower glycemic index as other options; and make sure to have some of these snacks at close range in case that craving kicks in.

Watch out for sugar alternatives. Products labeled as “sugar-free” may contain sweeteners that could pose different dangers. High fructose corn syrup, for example, is a commonly used sweetener often found in excess in sodas, pastry and candies, that has been linked to obesity and diabetes. Take a few seconds to check nutrition labels and ingredients for the type and amount of sugar content — and choose wisely.

Exercise. Light to moderate exercise can be enough to stimulate the release of mood-enhancing chemicals in your body that may actually reduce sugar cravings. Go for a brisk walk, a light jog, or some basic yoga to boost dopamine, serotonin, and other neurotransmitters to help curb your jones for a sugar rush.

Join a support group. Some people binge in unhealthy doses of sweets when they’re anxious, depressed or stressed. Recognize the tricky connection between your mood and your cravings, and don’t be scared to seek help in shifting this dynamic for the better. There are free support groups and exciting online programs that can help you develop a healthy diet and lifestyle. Click here to learn more.

And remember, as you stock-up on goodies for eager trick-or-treaters this­­­ Halloween, keep repeating the holiday season’s motto: “It’s better to give than to receive!”

Love your liver? Get up and move!

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

The autumn chill has officially arrived, along with the enticement of snuggling under the covers with a cup of hot apple cider or a pumpkin spiced latte for weekend of Netflix marathon-ing. But as alluring as hibernation sounds, a new study reminds us to avoid long periods of sitting to keep — not only our heart, but also — our liver healthy.

A recent study published in the Journal of Hepatology found that sitting for 10 or more hours a day increases the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) by 9%. The study involved over 139,000 middle-aged and generally healthy participants from South Korea who reported their daily physical activities, as well as the time periods in which they were seated.

Too much time sitting in front of the computer or TV can lead to liver damage. Break prolonged sitting with light activity and regular exercise.

Too much time sitting in front of the computer or TV can lead to liver damage. Break prolonged sitting with light activity and regular exercise. (Photo credit: Eric Molinsky, Creative Commons)

This study shows yet another danger of long-term sitting. NAFLD is a serious condition caused by the build-up of extra fat in liver cells, which leads to a more severe condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). According to the American Liver Foundation, NAFLD affects up to 25% of Americans, and most often, the disease shows no symptoms.

To date, there are no medical treatments available for NAFLD. People diagnosed with this disease are primarily advised to improve their lifestyle by avoiding alcohol, controlling diabetes and cholesterol intake, and keeping a healthy weight (especially for obese people). The recent study adds to this recommended list: staying physically active AND reducing sitting time.

An important aspect of the study is its emphasis on the risk of prolonged sitting.

“The amount of time spent doing sedentary activity such as sitting at a computer or watching TV has increased dramatically in recent years,” explains Dr. Seungho Ryu, lead investigator of the study. “More than half of the average person’s waking day involves sedentary activities.”

The study suggests that engaging in regular physical activity but sitting for long periods does not fully protect against health risks, including NAFLD. However, performing light activities instead of sitting may help reduce these risks.

Sedentary behavior fosters low muscle activity and insulin resistance, which both have harmful impacts on our health. And at ADRLF we feel more than obliged to share this helpful lifestyle tip with you, during National Liver Awareness Month. So, while cold weather hibernation makes this extra-challenging, make sure to get up, regularly, from that couch – or that desk — and move around to keep your liver healthy!

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month: Don’t hesitate – Vaccinate!

Monday, August 31st, 2015

As August comes to a rapid close, ADRLF joins many voices to devote special focus to National Immunization Awareness Month.

Last year’s measles outbreak, which affected 668 people in 27 states around the United States, is a stark reminder of the importance of vaccination. This month, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) highlights the role of vaccines, declaring August as National Immunization Awareness Month. According to the CDC, “Vaccines are among the safest and most cost-effective ways to prevent disease.” This is especially true for children, who are highly vulnerable to infectious diseases — that have already been successfully controlled through immunization — and who are easily exposed to contaminated settings from classrooms to playgrounds.

Don't hesitate. Vaccinate. (Photo credit: hpv vaccine, Art Writ)

Don’t hesitate. Vaccinate. (Photo credit: hpv vaccine, Art Writ)

Specific vaccinations protect infants and children from diseases that are actually preventable, including: measles, chicken pox, and hepatitis A and B. It also prevents them from contracting deadly complications such as pneumonia (from chicken pox), encephalitis (from measles), and liver failure (from hepatitis).

Vaccines are particularly beneficial against asymptomatic diseases like hepatitis A and B, which may affect both children and adults — without showing any recognizable symptoms.

To protect your children from hepatitis A, the CDC recommends that caregivers consult their children’s pediatricians, and from there, the vaccines may be administered in two doses: the first dose is given to children at 12-23 months old, and the second dose to be given at 6 to 18 months after the first dose.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is administered in three doses, given on the following periods: at birth, at 1-2 months old, and at 6-18 months old.
As some parents have expressed doubts against vaccination, especially of infants; the CDC’s vaccination guidelines offer some flexibility according to children’s age. For example, parents who are concerned about dosage and number of shots for babies can work with their health care professional to adjust the vaccination schedule.

Booster shots and other vaccines are recommended for older children and adults — depending on risk factors such as vaccination history, travel, occupation, allergies, and health status.

For parents and caregivers, learn more about vaccines here
For health care professionals, promote immunization with these resources
Everyone, know more about your local vaccination programs here

Wishing you fun, safe, healthy rest of the summer from ADRLF!

ADRLF on World Hepatitis Day 2015

Monday, July 27th, 2015

World Hepatitis Day is an annual celebration to promote awareness, screening and treatment of viral hepatitis. This “hidden epidemic” affects over 400 million people worldwide, and is one of the world’s top ten infectious diseases. This year, the theme  is “Prevent Hepatitis,” which aims to raise public consciousness of hepatitis A, B, C, D or E, and related issues such as treatment access and stigma. ADRLF brings you the “Top 10 Reasons to Screen, Vaccinate, Educate — Don’t Hesitate!” that we shared on July 28, 2015 via Twitter (@ADRLFoundation) and Facebook.

Reason 1: Globally, 400M people are infected with hepatitis, causing 1.4M death every year.

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 Reason 2: Why Screen and Vaccinate? Hepatitis C is 10 times more infectious than HIV.

Reason 3: 67% of people who inject drugs have hepatitis C.

Reason 4: Infants have up to 90% risk of getting infected with Hepatitis B in their first year.

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Reason 5: Hep B can be prevented and treated but it cannot be cured.

Reason 6: Hepatitis is linked with social stigma that can be managed with proper awareness.

Reason 7: High-risk drug injectors have the lowest hepatitis vaccination rate.

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Reason 8: “Silent Killer” hepatitis can infect w/o any symptoms. So know your risks & get tested!

Reason 9: Undiagnosed hepatitis leads to liver failure & cancer. Early detection saves lives!

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Reason 10: Baby boomers are 5x more likely to have hepatitis C! Get tested if you’re born bet. 1945-1965.

 

Photo credit to World Hepatitis Alliance, CDC, and @jannsenEMEA.