capac statement on hepatitis b action plan

Last week, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucusm issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' action plan to prevent and treat viral hepatitis, an epidemic affecting 3.5 to 5.3 million Americans -- especially the Asian American and Pacific Islander community:
The long-awaited plan outlined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is an incredibly important step in our efforts to combat the spread of viral hepatitis. This report is critical for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community where hepatitis B is especially lethal. AAPIs make up 5.5% of the U.S. population, but account for more than 50 percent of chronic hepatitis B cases. That is why CAPAC is leading the effort to pass a health disparities bill that includes programs designed to improve the way viral hepatitis is diagnosed and treated. Together, we can reduce the glaring disparities plaguing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and prevent this silent killer from striking so many. I want to express my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who was the driving force behind this initiative, and thank Dr. Fenton of the CDC for being so proactive.
I've actually heard from people -- fellow Asian Pacific Americans -- who dispute these figures, and are actually offended by the notion that hepatitis B disporportionately affects our community. The DHHS plan cannot come any sooner: Combating the Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis: Action Plan for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.

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