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Monday, April 23, 2007

United Press International: "San Francisco Seeks to Reduce Hepatitis B"

SAN FRANCISCO April 23 (UPI) -- A San Francisco group is beginning a campaign to screen, vaccinate and treat the city's Asian and Pacific Island population for hepatitis B.

The group, made up of government, private healthcare and community organizations, is targeting the 34 percent of the city's population made up of Asian and Pacific Islanders.

Its message -- "B Sure, B Tested, B Free" -- will be going out on both Asian and mainstream media. Low-cost or free screenings and vaccinations will be provided at physician offices, health clinics and street fairs.

"The hepatitis B virus is a highly infectious disease that is affecting the health of our vibrant Asian and Pacific Islander community," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. "Fortunately, a vaccine exists that is safe and effective."

San Francisco's Asian and Pacific Island residents bear a disproportionate burden of liver cancer and undetected hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a disease responsible for 80 percent of all liver cancers among Asian and Pacific Islanders.

© Copyright 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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