May 8, 2009
Christine Hsu, (415) 321-5868
The San Francisco Hep B Free campaign today announced the printing and distribution of 30,000 bright-yellow biodegradable grocery bags imprinted on both sides with hepatitis B prevention messages.
One side of the bag will carry the "B a Hero" logo of the SF Hep B Free campaign, which encourages all San Franciscans to be a hero by simply getting tested for the hepatitis B virus and encouraging their friends and families to get tested as well. The other side of the bag displays the hepatitis B message in four languages: English, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.
The bags are being distributed in predominantly Asian neighborhoods to local stores and merchants, including supermarkets and pharmacies. Distribution began on May 6, and they will also be available at select Walgreens and Rite Aid locations.
The SF Hep B Free bags were donated by Hayward-based Tri Star Plastic, Inc. Tri Star CEO Andrew Chen's father was diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B several years ago and underwent a successful liver transplant. Now, Chen says he wishes to do whatever he can to let people know about hepatitis B, which, left unmonitored and untreated, can cause cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer and liver failure. Hepatitis B is responsible for one-in-four liver cancer cases among Asian and Pacific Islander Americans.
"Hepatitis B is a serious disease," says Chen. "I'd like to see more dialogue about this disease and more action, so that more lives can be saved."
ABOUT HEPATITIS B
Hepatitis B has been called a “silent killer,” as persons infected with the hepatitis B virus often exhibit no symptoms until the disease has already caused damage to the liver.
Everyone should be tested for hepatitis B. Those who are not already chronically infected should be vaccinated.
ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO HEP B FREE CAMPAIGN
San Francisco Hep B Free is a collaborative effort undertaken by the San Francisco Department of Public Health, AsianWeek Foundation and the Asian Liver Center at Stanford University to increase public awareness of the disease, promote screening and vaccination, and help link already-infected individuals to care.
ONE DAY MASS SCREENING AT 5TH ANNUAL ASIAN HERITAGE STREET CELEBRATION ON MAY 16, 2009
For the fourth year in a row, free hepatitis B screenings will be offered to the public at the Asian Heritage Street Celebration, which takes place on Saturday, May 16 in San Francisco’s Civic Center and Little Saigon neighborhoods.
For information on the SF Hep B Free campaign, visit www.sfhepbfree.org