Faces of Hepatitis
On the eve of the first ever National Hepatitis Testing Day (May 19), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing draft guidelines proposing that all U.S. baby boomers get a one-time test for the hepatitis C virus. One in 30 baby boomers – the generation born from 1945 through 1965 – has been infected with hepatitis C, and most don’t know it. Hepatitis C causes serious liver diseases including liver cancer, which is the fastest-rising cause of cancer-related deaths, and the leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. CDC believes this approach will address the largely preventable consequences of this disease, especially in light of newly available therapies that can cure up to 75 percent of infections.
As a participant in the Faces of Hepatitis series to raise awareness of the disease, I share my story and encourage people to be screened. Watch my story:
Antonio Gonzales (Comca’Ac) is an advocate for American Indians and a Vietnam combat veteran with two purple hearts. Mr. Gonzales received a liver transplant in October 2005 to treat diagnosed Hepatitis C and resulting liver disease. Today, he lives a healthy lifestyle managing his Hepatitis C. He is a member of the San Francisco Hepatitis C Task Force and remains very active in the San Francisco bay area and globally on behalf of American Indians.
Faces of Hepatitis:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5.3 million Americans are infected with chronic hepatitis, and most people don't know they are infected. The Viral Hepatitis Action Coalition is presenting Faces of Hepatitis as part of a larger effort to help CDC raise awareness about the disease and who is at risk. These short videos tell the stories of people affected by hepatitis – individuals living with Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C, their families and loved ones, healthcare providers and community advocates. Faces of Hepatitis helps illustrate that viral hepatitis is not just one story, or face or voice, but many.