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Alan Franciscus
HCV Advocate

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Hepatitis Activists Issue New PSA and Call Attention to Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act

Contact: Eric Pai
(408) 480-9385

Hepatitis Activists Issue New PSA and Call Attention to Open Enrollment for Affordable Care Act

Screening and treatment of viral hepatitis may soon become more affordable to millions under the Affordable Care Act

WHAT: Elected office holders, community leaders and public health officials will announce free and low cost hepatitis screenings and unveil a new public service announcement running in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to highlight prevention of hepatitis B and C (HBV/HCV), which together cause almost all liver cancers in the U.S. The event will also draw attention to opportunities for Open Enrollment under the Health Insurance Exchanges of the Affordable Care Act. It will also recognize National Hepatitis Awareness Month during May, which includes National Hepatitis Testing Day on May 19. Screening and education will be available for both HBV/HCV. For a full listing of hepatitis screening availability go to: sf.heptesting.org

WHEN: 12:00 PM Saturday, May 18, 2013

WHERE: Asian Heritage Street Festival; Fulton Stage at Larkin Street (Civic Center near the Asian Art Museum)

·        Honorable Mazie Hirono, U.S. Senator for Hawaii
·        The Honorable Phil Ting, California Assemblyman
·        The Honorable Mark Leno, Senator, California State Senate
·        Admiral Nadine Simons, HHS Region 9 Health Administrator
·        The Honorable Fiona Ma, former Member of the California Assembly/Speaker Pro Tem
·        The Honorable Malia Cohen, Supervisor, SF Board of Supervisors
·        Ellen Wu- MPH, Executive Director of California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN)
·        Hep B and Hep C patients and other elected and community leaders

WHY:  Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States. It is a silent epidemic, with up to 5.3 million Americans estimated to having either hepatitis B or hepatitis C.  In San Francisco, there are approximately 12,000 people with chronic HCV, and according to the CDC, liver cancer from HBV and HCV kills more people in the Bay Area than anywhere else in the country.  Although it claims the lives of 12,000-15,000 Americans every year, viral hepatitis remains virtually unknown to the general public, at-risk populations, and policymakers.  

However, there is a vaccine available to prevent Hepatitis B, and treatments to prevent liver cancer for those already infected with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C.  Additionally, millions of Americans, including those in California, will soon be able to choose affordable, high-quality health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Screening and treatment of viral hepatitis may become more affordable to millions more people, even those with preexisting conditions.

Note to Editors: There will be volunteer patients being tested by trained personnel for photo and video.


  1. are all hcv treatments done by injections or can they be taken orally

  2. The new treatments now being developed (Direct Acting Antivirals) are taken orally. Sometimes they are combined with interferon (which is injected). If you are on an "interferon-free" trial or treatment then it will be injection free.