Who, What, Where, When and How?
World Hepatitis Day is an annual event that each year provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity around which interested groups can raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.
The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched World Hepatitis Day in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since then thousands of events have taken place around the world, generating massive public and media interest. The Alliance has also received support from governments worldwide, high-profile Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and supranational bodies, such as Médecins Sans Frontières.
Who organises World Hepatitis Day?
World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since 2008 World Hepatitis Day has been coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance.
In May 2010 the World Health Assembly passed resolution WHA63.18 on viral hepatitis which provides official endorsement of World Hepatitis Day as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts. To date, thousands of events have taken place around the world, from rock concerts and press briefings to ministerial meetings and fundraising events.
What makes it important?
Shockingly 500 million people worldwide is living with either chronic hepatitis B or C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, awareness is inexplicably low and the majority of those infected are unaware.
The World Hepatitis Alliance hopes that World Hepatitis Day will prompt people to think about the huge scale of viral hepatitis infection globally, about whether they may be at risk (and if so, to get tested) and also about how to avoid becoming infected. The long-term objective of the campaign is to prevent new infections and to deliver real improvements in health outcomes for people living with hepatitis B and C.
Where is it?
World Hepatitis Day events take place all over the world. Contact us to find out details of events near you, or you could even set up an event of your own! We've got all the materials here online to help you get started, including posters, logos and flier designs - find them here
When is World Hepatitis Day?
Following the World Health Assembly in May 2010, it was agreed that World Hepatitis Day would be recognised annually on 28 July.
July 28 was chosen to mark the birthday of Professor Baruch Blumberg, awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in discovering the hepatitis B virus. He said: ‘It's good to know that my birthday will be remembered in this unusual and unexpected way. We never thought this would happen when we were studying a strange protein from Australia.’
How do I get involved?
Take a look at our World Hepatitis Day 2013 page here. We will soon be putting up more information about what is going on in your area; if you have any questions in the meantime please feel free to contact us.