this is hepatitis: a march on washington d.c., march 19

I don't know if you know, but hepatitis and liver cancer are kicking our community's ass. Seriously. Across the country, more than half of the reported 2 million hepatitis B infection cases are AAPI patients, even though we make up less than 5% of the U.S. population. That's absolutely ridiculous.

So I think it's about time we kick some ass back. This Wednesday, May 19 is World Hepatitis Awareness Day. Hundreds of concerned community members are gathering in Washington D.C. to demand federal action -- full funding of our programs to stop a disease that causes 80% of liver cancer.

Here's lots more information on the Capitol Hill rally, courtesy of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations:
Bipartisan Capitol Hill World Hepatitis Day Rally on Wednesday, May 19th:

More than 300 Advocates Expected to Rally with Leading Lawmakers to Demand Full Federal Funding for Chronic Viral Hepatitis

Representatives Hank Johnson, Mike Honda, Charles Dent, Anh 'Joseph' Cao and Bill Cassidy to Participate in Capitol Hill Rally

Event Details:

* Capitol Hill Rally Featuring More than 300 Advocates & Five Members of Congress
* Wednesday, May 19, 2010
* Noon – 2 p.m.
* Upper Senate Park on Capitol Hill Grounds (Due North of US Senate)
* www.nvhr.org

More Info:

Washington, DC — On behalf of more than 5 million Americans who are estimated to be infected with chronic viral hepatitis B or C, the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable is bringing more than 300 advocates to Capitol Hill to rally May 19th with five leading lawmakers to urge Congress to fix the federal government's funding failure for state-based chronic viral hepatitis screening and prevention programs.

In January this year, the Institute of Medicine released a landmark report blasting the federal government for its failure to respond to the chronic viral hepatitis crisis. While a bipartisan coalition has come together in Congress to address this crisis, the Administration's meager response in its 2011 budget proposal means that more people will needlessly suffer in the coming year, particularly minority populations. The NVHR rally is designed to keep the pressure on until Congress and the Administration act on HR 3974, "The Viral Hepatitis & Liver Cancer Control & Prevention Act."

Key Speakers and Attendees:
Ms. Lorren Sandt, Chair, National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable

Mr. Chris Taylor, World Hepatitis Day, North American Representative, & Viral Hepatitis Program Director, National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Georgia who recently completed treatment for hepatitis C

Rep. Mike Honda, D-California and lead sponsor of HR 3974, "The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act,"

Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pennsylvania and lead Republican co-sponsor of HR 3974

Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, R-Louisiana, Co-sponsor of HR 3974

Rep. Bill Cassidy, M.D., R-Louisiana, Co-sponsor of HR 3974 and a Hepatologist
The fact of the matter is, this disease is killing us. With such a critical health issue facing the AAPI community, the government seems pretty slow to do anything about it. But can you blame them? We're barely aware of the issue ourselves! Education, awareness and prevention are key.

The goal of this rally is to keep the pressure on until Congress and the Administration act on HR 3974, "The Viral Hepatitis & Liver Cancer Control & Prevention Act." for more information on Wednesday's rally, visit the National Virus Hepatitis Roundtable website here, and the Facebook event page here.

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