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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Disparities, Health, National Hep B Free Ad asks “Which One Deserves To Die?”

Published by Asian American Press - May 6, 2010

From left to right: Larry Kitagawa, Actor & Community Ambassador, San Francisco Hep B Free, Dr. Edward Chow, Executive Director, Chinese Community Health Care Association & Vice President, San Francisco Health Commission, Fiona Ma, California State Assemblywoman, 12th District, Sunny Teo, Executive Creative Director, DAE Advertising, Ted Fang, Director, Asian Week Foundation & Committee Member, San Francisco Hep B Free, Elaine Fong, Community Ambassador, San Francisco Hep B Free. (Photo by Frank Jang)

Recent data released from the National Cancer Institute confirms that San Francisco has the highest rate of liver cancer in the nation. It is the gateway for immigrants from Asian countries where there is a high prevalence of hepatitis B. San Francisco Hep B Free is a unique collaboration of over 50 private and public organizations whose goal is to turn San Francisco into the first hepatitis B free city nationwide.

For the 15th Anniversary of National Hepatitis Awareness Month in May, SF Hep B Free will launch “Which One Deserves To Die?” a provocative ad campaign alerting the public that 1 in 10 Asian Americans is chronically infected with hepatitis B compared to 1 in 1,000 in the general population. Hepatitis B infection causes up to 80 percent of liver cancers worldwide.

The ad campaign was produced pro bono by DAE Advertising, a leading Asian American advertising agency based in San Francisco. These advertisements are the first major market health campaign in the country to feature more than 60 people from the Bay Area’s Asian American community. This million dollar ad campaign will appear in ethnic and local newspapers, billboards, bus shelters for the month of May. TV commercials were also produced and will receive wide exposure on Comcast cable, broadcast and Asian television stations.

California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-SF) has chronic hepatitis B, known in the health community as a “silent killer.” Her experience propelled her to work with San Francisco Hep B Free, and since joining the campaign, Assemblywoman Ma has authored groundbreaking legislation in California for residents to get screened and vaccinated. She is working on health care policy reform and a bill calling for preventative care and vaccination.

“As a Chinese-American, I have been the legislature’s leading advocate to eliminate hepatitis B,” said Ma. “The cause has special meaning to me because I live with chronic hepatitis B, a disease that affects 2 million Americans.”

“Which One Deserves to Die?” print ads and PSAs at can be viewed at: http://hepbads2010.blogspot.com/

San Francisco Hep B Free (sfhepbfree.org) is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between city government, private healthcare community organizations and businesses. The campaign’s goal is to make San Francisco hepatitis B-free by creating public and healthcare provider awareness about the importance of testing. It advocates vaccinating Asian and Pacific Islanders for hepatitis B; and promoting routine hepatitis B screenings and vaccinations within the primary care medical community. It also facilitates access to treatment for chronically infected individuals.

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