PETALUMA, Calif., Dec. 1, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces (NAHTF) today announced its international expansion and upcoming rebrand to the International Association of Hepatitis Task Forces (IAHTF) as well as its renewed commitment to removing disparities in national infectious disease priorities for people living with viral hepatitis globally. As the world prepares to recognize World AIDS day on December 1st, IAHTF reminds people to not forget the censored disease – viral hepatitis - that has emerged with far costlier and deadlier consequences to public health.
"We began our conversion several years ago to embrace the global health perspective, and to view hepatitis as a part of a larger chronic disease and chronic care management system," stated William (Bill) Remak, Chair of IAHTF. "Deaths from viral hepatitis exceed that of HIV/AIDS and does not receive the global attention it deserves. IAHTF intends to change that and guide the conversation to accelerate the 'NO HEP' awareness movement."
Viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV1. However, funding for viral hepatitis does not accurately reflect the deadly and costly effects of this infectious disease. IAHTF will fight to ensure people living with viral hepatitis do not become collateral damage in the war against AIDS.
"It is essential that we cooperate as a global community so we all can benefit from the latest advancements in treating and curing these viruses," said Kathleen Ogin, NAHTF board member. "Our goal is to advocate for patients with viral hepatitis and eliminate worldwide hepatitis by 2030."
The rebrand from NAHTF to IAHTF showcases the comprehensive approach the group is taking to eliminate global hepatitis. IAHTF firmly believes patients living with viral hepatitis deserve nothing less than the same consideration to those with HIV/AIDS. Moving forward, IAHTF efforts will reflect an improving public health alignment and guidance from patients, communities, government, health systems, providers and innovators for the sake of all persons suffering with viral hepatitis worldwide.
Founded in 2003, NAHTF advocated for ways to broaden the reach and use of innovative practices to create positive outcomes and reduce the suffering by viral hepatitis patients. This international growth will allow NAHTF, now IAHTF, to better support, serve and advocate for the viral hepatitis community worldwide.
Through its continued work with international partners, IAHTF will work to expand access to services to all populations, improved prevention and initiate policy reforms that will help the viral hepatitis community.
A new logo, website and social media channels are being created to better communicate the global message and will be unveiled in 2018.
1. World Health Organization, New hepatitis data highlight need for urgent global response, Published April 21, 2017
SOURCE National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces (NAHTF)