Today, May 19th we mark World Hepatitis Day. Hepatitis is a public health issue and impacts millions of Americans. For many people, hepatitis often goes undetected and becomes increasingly difficult to treat over time. Public awareness remains a critical factor in the prevention, detection and management of this disease and that there is a need to expand knowledge and eliminate hepatitis-related stigma among health care providers, at-risk populations, and the general public. In honor of World Hepatitis Day, President Obama released the below Presidential Message:
I send warm greetings to all those observing World Hepatitis Day.
Millions of Americans are affected by viral hepatitis, and too many do not know they are infected. As a leading cause of liver cancer and related complications, viral hepatitis presents a major public health challenge at home and abroad. We must work together to raise awareness, increase access to services, improve preventive care, and end the silence surrounding this life-threatening illness so at-risk and infected individuals can receive the assistance they need.
Across the United States, countless health care professionals, researchers, and advocates are working to achieve these goals, and our Nation’s future is more hopeful because of their dedication. Their tireless efforts are bringing us closer to the day when words like “incurable” are no longer a part of our vocabulary.
On World Hepatitis Day, we renew our support for people living with hepatitis and their loved ones, and for those who are working to improve treatment and prevention. I wish you all the best as you join together to take action against this terrible disease.
Jeff Crowley is the Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy.