2 posts tagged “hepatitis B vaccine”

Know Your ABC’s on World Hepatitis Day

Posted July 27th, 2012 by

Did you know that both hepatitis B and hepatitis C can be transmitted through blood-to-blood contact – but hepatitis B is commonly transmitted through unprotected sex as well?  Also, there is a vaccine available for only one of these forms of hepatitis.  Do you know which one it is? (Answer: hepatitis B)

Because these “silent” infections may not cause symptoms for years, hepatitis B and C are the focus of World Hepatitis Day, which takes place tomorrow, July 28th, and is sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA). (There is another form of this viral infection called hepatitis A, which is typically transmitted through contaminated food or drinking water.)

World Hepatitis Day 2012

The reasons for greater awareness are stark:  the WHO estimates that two billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus and approximately 240 million people are living with chronic liver infections. Approximately 600,000 people will die every year from the consequences of hepatitis B.  In addition, there are around 150 million people chronically infected with hepatitis C worldwide, and more than 350,000 die each year from related liver diseases, according to the WHO.

Despite these alarming figures, hepatitis remains poorly understood, and the majority of those infected are unaware.  Should their infections become chronic, people living with either hepatitis B or C are at risk for serious liver complications, including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.  In some cases, a liver transplant may be required.

You can learn firsthand about these conditions and their complications from our hepatitis patients at PatientsLikeMe.  As of today, 88 patients report hepatitis B, while 299 patients report hepatitis C.  In addition, 522 patients have undergone a liver transplant to replace a diseased liver.

If you haven’t been tested for hepatitis – or you want to know more about the hepatitis B vaccination – talk to your doctor at your next visit.  If you’re living with chronic hepatitis, we invite you to join our supportive community today.

What Do You Know About Hepatitis?

Posted July 28th, 2011 by

World Hepatitis Day Is July 28, 2011

Today, July 28th, marks the first official World Hepatitis Day sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA). Hepatitis kills more than one million people each year, while millions more suffer acute sickness or long-term ill health. The goal of this new event is to raise awareness of this global health issue while increasing prevention and control efforts.

Specifically, World Hepatitis Day focuses on hepatitis B and hepatitis C, which are both viral infections. Approximately 1 in 12 people worldwide is living with chronic hepatitis B or C, which represents a far greater prevalence than better-known conditions such as HIV or cancer. Yet hepatitis remains poorly known and understood, and the majority of those infected are unaware. Hopefully that can begin to change. With that goal in mind, here are a few quick facts to help raise your knowledge.

Did you know that…

  • …there is a vaccine available for hepatitis B that is effective in approximately 95% of cases?
  • …both hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through sharing household items such as razors and toothbrushes?
  • …these viral infections are considered “silent” because many people experience no symptoms for years?
  • …if a hepatitis B infection doesn’t resolve on its own and becomes chronic, it can cause liver cirrhosis or liver cancer? And a liver transplant may be needed?
  • …hepatitis B can be spread through unprotected sexual contact, while hepatitis C is contracted through blood-to-blood contact only?

If you didn’t know a few of these facts, learn more about viral hepatitis and how it can be prevented and diagnosed today. You can also learn firsthand from our hepatitis patients here at PatientsLikeMe. As of today, 156 members report hepatitis C while 41 patients report hepatitis B. In both conditions, Prograf, an immunosuppressant drug used to prevent organ rejection following an liver transplant, represents one of the most commonly reported prescription medications while men represent a higher percentage of our membership: 62% for hepatitis C and 63% for hepatitis B. There are also more than 600 discussions of hepatitis across 29 different forum rooms at PatientsLikeMe.

Are you living with chronic hepatitis B or C? Break the silence and share your story in any language on the WHA’s global “Wall of Stories.”