|Posted:||March 10, 2020 02:28 PM|
|From:||Representative Donna Bullock|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Designating May 2020 as “Hepatitis Awareness Month” and May 19, 2020, as “Hepatitis Testing Day”|
|Hepatitis is a disease of the liver with five different types – Hepatitis A, B, and C being the most common – and is caused by a virus that can lead to a wide range of symptoms and outcomes. Depending on which type is contracted, effects can range from no symptoms at all or mild illness to liver damage, failure, or cancer if not treated appropriately.
The lack of awareness and education surrounding hepatitis has led to the pain and suffering for too many Pennsylvanians, with the most recent Hepatitis A outbreak targeting the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable – the indigent and homeless. Further, the opioid crisis has made way for Hepatitis C to resurface as a grim reality for many as it spreads across the state, often transmitted through the practice of needle-sharing.
While vaccines for Hepatitis A and B have been instrumental in preventing the disease and reducing transmission rates, testing for those born before the development of the vaccines is imperative for one to truly know their status and take the next step in protecting their health. Annually, May 19th serves as “Hepatitis Testing Day” and May 2020 as “Hepatitis Awareness Month” across the nation in order to encourage people at risk to be proactive in knowing their status and seeking the resources available to them to detect or treat the disease as soon as possible to reduce harm.
Please join me in supporting this crucial resolution to better educate those we serve and to raise the awareness of hepatitis in Pennsylvania.
Introduced as HR889