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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Niwa Public Relations: "Hepatitis B Awareness Proclamation from the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom"

April 12, 2006

To:                               Darlene C. Chiu
Chief Deputy Communications Director
Mayor's Office of Communications

From:                           Grace E. Niwa
                                    PR Consultant/GlaxoSmithKline
                                    Niwa Public Relations

Re:                              Hepatitis B Awareness Proclamation
from the office of Mayor Gavin Newsom


WHEREAS, Hepatitis B is a serious infectious disease in the city of San Francisco in that approximately 25,000 people are chronically infected making it three times more prevalent than HIV/AIDS; and

WHEREAS, peoples of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) descent are most at risk, with one in every ten Asians being chronically infected with Hepatitis B; and

WHEREAS, many of these 25,000 chronically infected carriers may not know they have been infected because they feel and appear healthy, but they need to undergo blood tests that specifically check for Hepatitis B; and

WHEREAS, without appropriate monitoring or treatment, one in four chronically infected persons will die from liver cancer or liver failure; and

WHEREAS, Hepatitis B is completely preventable with a vaccine that is known as the “first anti-cancer vaccine”; and

WHEREAS, there are an estimated 100,000 APIs in San Francisco who are unprotected and would benefit from vaccination against Hepatitis B; and

WHEREAS, symptoms of Hepatitis B are difficult to detect, thus making this disease hard to diagnose, even with routine liver function blood tests; and

WHEREAS, Hepatitis B is found to cause 80% of all liver cancer in the API community, and if not detected early, will result in death; and

WHEREAS, in the city of San Francisco, the Department of Public Health emphasizes Hepatitis B prevention by requiring testing during pregnancy and by requiring children to be immunized against the disease; and

WHEREAS, with the support of GlaxoSmithKline, the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University, San Francisco’s Department of Public Health, the Chinese Hospital, the API Wellness Center, the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations, and the API American Health Forum unite together to promote awareness of the prevalence of Hepatitis B and the need for testing and vaccination in San Francisco’s API community during National Hepatitis B Awareness Month and Asian Pacific Heritage Month in May; and

WHEREAS, activities during this awareness campaign will include free hepatitis B screenings at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration on May 20th in the Sunset District of San Francisco and a press conference to alert the media and the API community in San Francisco.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GAVIN NEWSOM, Mayor of San Francisco do hereby proclaim May 2006 as

HEPATITIS B AWARENESS MONTH in San Francisco and encourage and support the API community in its fight to raise awareness of this serious yet preventable infectious disease in the Bay Area.

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