DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (PRWEB) October 03, 2016
The Hepatitis B Foundation today announced the launch of a campaign to more effectively share with the public the impact that living with hepatitis B has on individual lives and to put a human face on this serious liver disease.
The goal of the Hepatitis B Foundation Patient Storytelling Program is to use the real voices of every-day people living with or affected by hepatitis B to create a national resource of personal stories. The program aims to raise awareness of the disease, decrease the associated stigma and discrimination, and promote the importance of increased testing and referral to care for hepatitis B. Participants will be recruited from across the country and invited to attend a four-day digital storytelling workshop where they will develop their stories as a short video and then complete training to share their story and videos in their own communities and at national advocacy events.
The announcement of the new nationwide initiative comes as the United States observes Liver Cancer Awareness Month during October. Chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus is the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide, and liver cancer is the second leading cause of all cancer deaths globally. In the U.S., liver cancer is one of three cancers that is increasing in incidence while the rates of most other types of cancer are declining or stabilizing.
“What better way to acknowledge the burden of the world’s most common, serious liver infection than by creating a program to help people affected by hepatitis B share their stories,” said Joan Block, RN, BSN, executive director and co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation. “Our goal is to make hepatitis B an urgent public health priority, and to increase awareness about the enormous impact of this disease on individual lives through personal storytelling.”
With educational grants from Arbutus Biopharma, focused on developing new hepatitis B therapeutics, and Dynavax Technologies, focused on developing a new adult hepatitis B vaccine, the Hepatitis B Foundation will partner with StoryCenter, a nonprofit organization that started the global digital storytelling movement.
The Hepatitis B Foundation Patient Storytelling Campaign will be completed and ready to share with the public by May 2017, to mark Hepatitis Awareness Month.
If you have been impacted by hepatitis B, contact the Hepatitis B Foundation at info(at)hepb(dot)org or by calling 215-489-4900 to find out how you can share your story.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to http://www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://www.hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.