Scary, isn’t it?
It’s a part of San Francisco Hep B Free‘s latest ad campaign. It’s meant to be provocative, and it’s launching this month, the 15th anniversary of National Hepatitis Awareness Month.
We don’t hear much about hepatitis B, do we? It’s not like breast cancer or obesity, with all the hype in the media. Sure, one in 10 Asian Americans are infected by hepatitis B (as compared to 1 in 1,000 in the general population). And yes, hepatitis B is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the most lethal, expensive and fastest growing cancers in America. But is it something that I — as a healthy, professional Asian American woman — should really worry about?
Well, if you between the ages of 19-49, engage in sexual intercourse, and/or are thinking of having a baby, you’d better pay attention.
Why? Because according to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 43,000 new hepatitis B cases in U.S. each year, the greatest incidence is among adults between ages 19-49 years old.
In addition, of the 350 to 400 million people worldwide who have hepatitis B, many do not know they are infected.
And scariest of all? Not only can you get hepatitis B through unprotected sex and shared needles, you can pass hepatitis B to your baby while giving birth. Terrifying, isn’t it?
In fact, new federal data confirms that the city of San Francisco has the highest rate of liver cancer in the country. The tie-in? Hepatitis B silently attacks the liver and is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the most lethal, expensive and fastest growing cancers in America. So San Francisco Hep B Free, a first-of-its-kind collaboration of more than 50 private and public organizations dedicated to eradicate hepatitis B in the city, is stepping up its awareness campaign with the provocative new ads. The campaign, designed by DAE Advertising, features more than 60 people from the Bay Area’s Asian American community in print ads and public service announcements.
Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-SF) has been leading the fight against hepatitis B. “As a Chinese American, I have been the legislature’s leading advocate to eliminate hepatitis B,” says Ma. “The cause has special meaning to me because I live with chronic hepatitis B, a disease that affects 2 millions Americans.”
It’s all the more important to raise awareness and get the word out in the community to get screened. Not only is May Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and National Hepatitis Awareness Month, but May 19 is World Hepatitis Day.
Get yourself and your loved ones screened today. Go to San Francisco Hep B Free for a list places where you can get free screening.
San Francisco Hep B Free is a collaboration between city government, private healthcare community organizations and businesses. The campaign’s goal is to make San Francisco hepatitis B-free by (1) creating public and healthcare provider awareness about the importance of testing & vaccinating Asian and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B; (2) promoting routine hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations within the primary care medical community; and (3) facilitating access to treatment for chronically infected individuals.