Hepatitis kills more people every year than AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria and causes 80% of all cases of liver cancer worldwide.
There are five kinds of viral hepatitis: A, B, C, D and E. The most prevalent types are Hepatitis B and C. Around 500 million people worldwide live with either Hepatitis B or C and about 250,000 people have Hep C in Australia. Viral hepatitis accounts for 1.4 million deaths worldwide per year (more than AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria) and together Hepatitis B and C cause 80% of all cases of liver cancer worldwide.
Hepatitis B is spread via blood and sexual fluids while Hepatitis C is predominantly spread through the sharing of contaminated needles used in illicit drug taking. The aim of Hepatitis Australia is to create greater awareness of the risks of hepatitis and to lobby for access to cheaper diagnostics and treatment.
Who backs the event?
Hepatitis Australia is the peak community organisation for Australians affected by Hepatitis B and C and its membership includes the eight state and territory hepatitis organisations. Their key objective is to lead an effective national community response and put an end to Hepatitis B and C in Australia.
What is World Hepatitis Day?
World Hepatitis Day is one of the few disease-specific global awareness days that is officially endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is held globally on the 28 July by the World Hepatitis Alliance and coordinated locally by Hepatitis Australia.
On the day, thousands of events take place in hundreds of countries across the globe, including Australia. These events range from free hepatitis screenings and vaccination drives to poster campaigns, demonstrations, concerts and fundraisers.
How can you get involved on the day?
There are many ways to get involved on World Hepatitis Day and at any time of the year. On World Hepatitis Day, you can do the following:
- Attend one of the hundreds of events held all around Australia (see the website for details)
- Organise your own fundraiser such as an auction, concert, barbeque or sporting challenge
- Share information about World Hepatitis Day via your social network channels
What else can be done to help?
- Use your hepatitis experience to become a Community Mobilisation Volunteer and advocate on behalf of other people affected by hepatitis in your community.
- Train to become a counsellor in Hepatitis Australia’s free, confidential counselling service.
- Help out with Hepatitis Australia’s admin tasks, such as mailing, data entry and phone work
- Make a donation to Hepatitis Australia or leave a bequest to them in your will.