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Monday, May 21, 2007

Press Release: "Asian American Reality Stars Join Over 300 People To Get Tested And Vaccinated For Hepatitis B At The 3rd Annual AHSC"

May 21, 2007

San Francisco Hep B Free ~B Sure, B Tested, B Free
Free hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations were provided by the Asian Liver Center of Stanford University

San Francisco, CA (May 21, 2007) - Yul Kwon, winner of CBS’s Survivor: Cook Islands (and new CNN correspondent) along with the Cho Brothers of CBS’s Amazing Race 10, Miss San Jose 2007 Nicole Fox, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, and members of the media were tested and vaccinated for hepatitis B during the Asian Heritage Street Celebration (AHSC) in San Francisco’s SOMA district at 1025 Howard Street on Saturday, May 19th, 2007. The Asian Liver Center at Stanford University provided free hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations were available for $20 per shot.

These screenings and vaccinations are a major step for San Francisco Hep B Free, a two-year-long campaign for the city to become the first in the nation to screen, vaccinate, and treat all Asian Pacific American (APA) residents for Hepatitis B (HBV). A major collaborative effort of city government, private healthcare, and more than 50 health and APA community organizations, San Francisco Hep B Free was launched on April 25, 2007 with a press conference and community dinner featuring Mayor Gavin Newson; Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting; Supervisor Ed Jew; Dr. Mitch Katz, Director, SF Department of Public Health; Dr. Samuel So, Director of Asian Liver Center at Stanford University; and Ted Fang, Director of AsianWeek Foundation. For more information, visit www.sfhepbfree.org.

"SF Hep B Free is an extraordinary campaign with a message for all APAs,” said Erwin Cho, Amazing Race 10. “Simply by getting the word out about how widespread hepatitis B is, and then encouraging people to get tested and vaccinated, we will be one step closer to eliminating this disease."

"Awareness of the hepatitis B campaign is critical to the health and well-being of all Asians,” said Yul Kwon, Survivor: Cook Islands. “I am proud to be involved in this very important issue in the APA community."

San Francisco’s APA residents comprise of 34% of the city’s population and bear a disproportionate burden of many undetected HBV infections and the highest liver cancer rate in the nation. While about 1 in 1,000 of the general US population has chronic HBV infection, 1 in 10 people in the API community are potentially living with an undiagnosed infection. APIs are 100 times more likely to suffer from chronic HBV infection and four times more likely to die from liver cancer compared with the general population.

“There are an estimated 25,000 APAs living in the city of San Francisco with chronic hepatitis B, and an additional 100,000 who are unprotected,” said Dr. Samuel So, Director, Asian Liver Center at Stanford University. “There’s a real need for increased hepatitis B testing and vaccination in the APA community. More than half of the deaths from hepatitis B are from our community, yet the seriousness of this disease is under-appreciated, under-diagnosed, and under-treated. We are grateful for everyone’s support in promoting awareness and prevention of this silent epidemic.”


Julie DeMelo, Niwa Public Relations
(508) 238-6547

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