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Thursday, October 15, 2009

SF Hep B Free Gala Supports Free Chinatown Screenings

-Chinese Hospital, Chinatown community organizations and benevolent associations partner to stop liver cancer-


Contact: Christine Hsu, media@sfhepbfree.org or Angela Pang, apang@asianweek.com, work: (415) 321-5894, cell: (650) 703-9364

SAN FRANCISCO, October 15, 2009 - SF Hep B Free is partnering with Chinese Family Associations, Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association and Chinese Hospital, to offer free hepatitis B screenings in Chinatown. The program will be announced at San Francisco Hep B Free gala on Thursday October 15 at the Empress of China Restaurant. Screening for hepatitis B disease is the most effective way to prevent liver cancer.

"We are happy to support hepatitis B testing in Chinatown and hope the screenings will be successful," said Albert G. Chin, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

Hepatitis B causes up to 80% of all liver cancers, and disproportionately affects 1 in 10 Asian and Pacific Islanders. A safe and effective vaccine prevents infection and liver cancer cause by hepatitis B. The most important step towards eliminating hepatitis B disease is by being tested for infection in your doctor's office.

The Chinatown community testing program is being provided by Chinese Hospital and will take place with screening events to be held in selected Chinatown locations. Chinese Hospital will provide results to all those tested.

"Hepatitis B is a very important health issue and everyone who does not know if their status, should become tested," said San Francisco Health Commissioner Edward A. Chow, M.D.

SF Hep B Free is supported by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


ABOUT Hepatitis B
Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) are disproportionately impacted by Hepatitis B. It is a disease of the liver caused by HBV, a virus often called a "silent killer" because it can cause liver cancer, cirrhosis or liver failure without producing symptoms. San Francisco has the highest liver cancer rate in the nation and 80% of liver cancer in APIs is caused by HBV. But it's preventable with a simple vaccine.

ABOUT San Francisco Hep B Free

San Francisco Hep B Free is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between city government, private healthcare and community organizations. The program's goal is to make San Francisco a hepatitis B-free city by (1) creating public and healthcare provider awareness about the importance of testing & vaccinating APIS for hepatitis B; (2) promoting routine HBV screenings and vaccinations within the primary care medical community; and (3) facilitating access to treatment for chronically infected individuals. The campaign's theme is "B a Hero. See a doctor who tests for Hepatitis B."

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