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The Gamut

The Asian Liver Center makes strides on on Hepatitis B

The Asian Liver Center, working hard toward eradication of Hepatitus B, continues its mission of spreading awareness about viruses including, but not limited to, Hepatitus B and C
Virus Vaccinations: Vaccinations are crucial to preventing illness and viruses, including Hepatitis B and other viruses.

When winter approaches, a peak point for many diseases and viruses, the need to get vaccinated is crucially important to improving the health status of people, especially when it comes to getting the hepatitis B (HBV) vaccination. In fact, spreading awareness about HBV has been an important mission for the Asian Liver Center founded in 1996. It is the first nonprofit in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians. 

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that is the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide. It is transmitted through three ways: birth, blood, and intercourse. Symptoms of this disease during the initial infection, also called the acute infection, are inconspicuous. However, there are blood tests and vaccinations for HBV to help people protect themselves and others. 

Dr. Samuel So, Executive Director at Asian Liver Center, said in a HepVu interview in 2021, “Chronic Hepatitis B is highly endemic in Asia and the Pacific Islands. For instance, in Vietnam and China, about 1 in 8 to 1 in 12 adults have chronic Hepatitis B infection.”

Over the past years, the Asian Liver Center, the first nonprofit in the United States that addresses the high incidence of hepatitis B and liver cancer in Asians, has been working towards eliminating HBV by a variety of projects, especially through a mission of “CARE.” It “stands for building collaboration, advocacy, research, and education to address the gaps in Hepatitis B awareness, research, national guidelines, and policies with the goal of eliminating Hepatitis B…”, as mentioned in a 2021 HepVu Interview.

For example, they have been raising awareness through branding in many areas including but not limited to cities locally. So mentioned in a 2021 HepVu interview, “In 2000, we launched the jade ribbon campaign, a culturally and linguistically targeted initiative to provide print and multimedia public service announcements, bus ads, community free screenings, educational pamphlets, etc. to raise Hepatitis B awareness and increase knowledge in the San Francisco Bay Area and in California more generally.”

On top of their uplifting programs and works, they have received a variety of awards and recognitions internationally, including the CDC and ATSDR Honor Award Excellence in Partnering in 2010 and the National Leadership Award to Dr. Samuel So during the second Annual Asian American Health Conference in 2005.

“Everyone recognizes the seriousness of cancer, but many people still are not aware that a major cause of liver cancer is related to untreated chronic Hepatitis B or C infection,” Dr. So mentions. “and you can be infected with Hepatitis B and C without having any symptoms.”

About the Contributor
Athena Xing, Staff Writer
Athena Xing, a current Oxford Academy freshman, is very excited to serve her first year on the Gamut as a staff writer. Passionate about sharing important ideas and learning about other people, Athena decided that she can learn so much more through journalism. She also loves to travel; in fact, one of the items on her bucket list is to travel the whole world! Described as outgoing and fun, she loves to find new things everyday and to share them with the people closest to her. One of her favorite pastimes are swimming, eating tiramisu cake, consuming strawberry hibiscus flavored drinks, and taking care of her three turtles who are named after the seasons they were born in: Winter, Summer, and Spring (let her know if you find an Autumn!) She describes herself as a friendly person, so don’t be afraid to drop by and say hello!