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Millions of Americans are living with chronic viral hepatitis, and many do not know they are infected. Every year, approximately 15,000 Americans die from liver cancer or chronic liver disease associated with viral hepatitis. Despite this, viral hepatitis is not well known. In fact, as many as 75 percent of the millions of Americans with chronic viral hepatitis don’t know they’re infected.
The word “hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most often caused by one of several viruses, which is why it is often called viral hepatitis. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can become chronic, life-long infections which can lead to liver cancer.
Find out if you should be tested by taking a 5-minute online Hepatitis Risk Assessment, designed to determine an individual’s risk for viral hepatitis and ask questions based upon CDC’s guidelines for testing and vaccination. This risk assessment tool allows individuals to answer questions privately, either in their home or in a health care setting, and print their recommendations to discuss with their doctor. May 19 is National Hepatitis Testing Day.
Please join in support of this national education initiative Know More Hepatitis aimed to decrease the burden of chronic viral hepatitis by increasing awareness about this hidden epidemic and encouraging people who may be chronically infected to get tested.