Why the World Should Ask 'Am I Number 12?'

Apr 24, 2008, 01:00 ET from World Hepatitis Alliance

    GENEVA, Switzerland, April 24 /PRNewswire/ --
     - More Than 200 Patient Groups Launch Global Viral Campaign
     - http://www.aminumber12.org - http://www.suis-jelenumero12.org -
 http://www.souonumero12.org - http://www.sonoioilnumero12.org -
 http://www.soyelnumero12.org - http://www.rakam12.org -
     The World Hepatitis Alliance and over 200 patient groups around the
 world are asking 'Am I Number 12?' (http://www.aminumber12.org) to increase
 awareness of the shocking statistic that one in 12 people on the planet are
 living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C and yet the majority of those
 infected are unaware.
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080424/302168-a )
     (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080424/302168-b )
     Three weeks ahead of World Hepatitis Day on Monday 19 May, the World
 Hepatitis Alliance is launching a viral campaign aimed at getting people
 talking about the fact that approximately 500 million people globally are
 living with either hepatitis B or C. The World Hepatitis Alliance is asking
 people to sign-up to http://www.aminumber12.org to show support for the
 campaign but also to receive valuable information about a disease that
 kills some 1.5 million people a year.
     The 'Am I Number 12?' campaign has already kicked off in 64 countries
 and high-profile campaigns are being coordinated from Sydney to Serbia and
 from Beijing to Buenos Aires. Charles Gore, President of the World
 Hepatitis Alliance, said that with 1.5 million people dying every year,
 chronic viral hepatitis could no longer be ignored. "Through the 'Am I
 Number 12?' campaign and activities around the world on 19 May we aim to
 put hepatitis B and C firmly on the global healthcare agenda," Mr Gore
     Mr Gore continued that unlike other disease areas, awareness of
 hepatitis B and C remains inexplicably low: "We believe that, unless
 awareness improves, we won't make any progress in reducing the enormous and
 largely preventable death toll. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C should have the
 same profile as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB and should really be up there
 alongside those diseases in the WHO's millennium goals."
Did You Know? - 500 million people worldwide are currently infected with hepatitis B or C - This is over 10 times the number infected with HIV/AIDS - Between them, hepatitis B and C kill 1.5 million people a year - One in every three people on the planet has been exposed to either or both viruses - Most of the 500 million infected do not know World Hepatitis Day World Hepatitis Day will be observed on Monday 19 May and marks a brand new, entirely patient-led initiative. The day has been launched in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis has nowhere near the level of awareness nor the political will to tackle it that is seen in HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. This is despite the fact that the numbers chronically infected with, and annually killed by, hepatitis B and C viruses are on the same scale. 'Am I Number 12?' campaign materials are available in over 40 languages - for logo images, postcards, posters and banner ads please contact the World Hepatitis Alliance at worldhepday@fleishman.com World Hepatitis Alliance World Hepatitis Day is being coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance, a newly established Non-Governmental Organisation which represents more than 200 hepatitis B and hepatitis C patient groups from around the world. The World Hepatitis Alliance is governed by a representative board of patient groups from seven world regions: Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, North America, South America, Australasia & Western Pacific. For more information visit http://www.worldhepatitisday.com on Monday 19 May.
Contact Information: International - Lorna Croft, T: +44-20-7395-7067, E: worldhepday@fleishman.com .

SOURCE World Hepatitis Alliance