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World Hepatitis Day: Eliminate Hepatitis

Eliminate Hepatitis is the theme of this year's World Hepatitis Day on Friday 28 July

Hepatitis C is the most prevalent form of the illness with an estimated 160,000 chronic cases in the UK alone, while chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C account for a combined 1.4 million deaths worldwide every year. Currently, only 11% of people living with viral hepatitis are aware of their status. This can result in the real possibility of developing fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.

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The #ShowYourFace Polaroid campaign aims to demonstrate the universal and non-discriminatory nature of the illness with a focus on our efforts as individuals in the worldwide elimination of viral hepatitis.

Dr Adrian McLachlan, local GP and chair of Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group, said that awareness was the key to tackling the disease as many people with hepatitis C ignore symptoms and risk factors.

"Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. Excessive alcohol intake over a sustained period is a major factor and, without management can lead to chronic hepatitis and ultimately liver failure or liver cancer, both of which can be fatal."

"There are effective vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, which your GP can help facilitate. "The elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable."

The simple act of posting a #ShowYourFace selfie is an engaging way to show solidarity with the worldwide struggle for the elimination of hepatitis altogether, and gives a much needed human face to the movement.

The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) brings together over 249 patient groups from 84 countries for the purpose of raising hepatitis awareness and influencing global change. 

To contribute to World Hepatitis Day, you can:

  • Upload your own Polaroid and 'I am' statement to social media with the #ShowYourFace hashtag, or alternatively use the WHA's selfie tool
  • Register your own event with the campaign and demonstrate mass solidarity with a group selfie using the #ShowYourFace hashtag
  • Download, display and share the WHD digital toolkit

To find out more about the different types of hepatitis, including hepatitis C and alcoholic hepatitis, visit the following links: