May 19th is World Hepatitis Day

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THUNDER BAY – May 19th is World Hepatitis Day. To mark the event, AIDS Thunder Bay, in partnership with several key community agencies, will be kicking off the day with a World Hepatitis Day Breakfast at the Victoria Inn starting at 7:00 AM. Several speakers will share information about the impact of Hepatitis on our community over the past decade.

$10 Breakfast tickets can be purchased in advance from AIDS Thunder Bay and tickets will be available at the door. ATB will also host their 2nd Annual Information

event at Intercity Mall. Staff and community representatives will be available to answer questions and hand out information materials about Hepatitis B & C.

The theme of World Hepatitis Day this year is “This is Hepatitis…” The  campaign’s 4 key messages focus on: Prevention: ‘Get Protected,’ Diagnosis: ‘Get Tested,’ Protection: ‘Get Vaccinated,’ & Treatment: ‘Get Treated.’

The aim is to help encourage the public to take note of viral hepatitis –

explaining the unfortunate real life impact of these diseases, while reminding people that ‘it does not need to be this way.’

One in twelve people worldwide are living with either chronic Hepatitis B or C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, the awareness is low and the majority of those infected are unaware as most have no symptoms.

Locally the Thunder Bay District Health Unit estimates there is a prevalence of 1.8% HCV infection rate in the Thunder Bay District. Approximately 30% of clients accessing services at AIDS Thunder Bay are co-infected with both HIV and Hepatitis C.

For more information, please contact Sarah Tycholiz at AIDS Thunder Bay at 345-1516 or visit the World Hepatitis Alliance website at www.whdcanada.ca or www.aminumber12.org.

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