The ‘Am I Number 12?’ highlights the shocking statistic that one in 12 people worldwide is living with either chronic hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, awareness is comparatively low and the majority of those infected are unaware that they carry the virus. ‘Am I Number 12?’ prompts people to think about the huge scale of hepatitis infection globally, to question themselves, to assess their own risk and whether they should be tested, and to avoid infection.
In Malaysia, the estimated 5% of the population (1.4 million people) with chronic Hepatitis B and nearly 2% of the population with chronic Hepatitis C are at high risk of death from liver cirrhosis (scarring), liver failure and liver cancer. Compounding the problem, viral hepatitis is mostly a silent disease.
- Prevention: ‘Get Protected’ – knowing the risk factors for hepatitis B and C is the most important step in preventing new infections
- Diagnosis: ‘Get Tested’ – getting tested for hepatitis B and C is quick and simple, and if people think they might have been at risk, they should get tested immediately
- Protection: ‘Get Vaccinated’ – in the case of hepatitis B there is a vaccine and the disease is preventable through immunization
- Treatment: ‘Get Treated’ – in many cases, treatment for hepatitis B and C is effective
Viral Hepatitis is an infliction of the liver. One in 12 people worldwide is living with either Hepatitis B or C, a prevalence far higher than HIV or any cancer. These 12 well-known members of our community are supportive of the Malaysian Campaign. Each of them holds a key message on Viral Hepatitis.
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