Text AA

Inaugural African American Hepatitis C Action Day, 7/25 Press Conference

Media Contact: Teri Wade, 212-595-4047, teri@missionandmessage.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

**MEDIA ADVISORY**

Inaugural African American Hepatitis C Action Day Promotes Health Education and Testing in Hard-Hit Black Communities

New York City Press Conference and Presentation of City Proclamation –
Thursday, July 25, City Hall, 12 Noon – Interviews and Photo Ops

New York, NY—The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA), in partnership with the Harm Reduction Coalition and the Coalition for Positive Health Empowerment (COPE), is spearheading the first annual African American Hepatitis C Action Day, Thursday, July 25, 2013, a national community mobilization initiative aimed at reducing the high incidence of HCV infection in black communities by drawing attention to this neglected health disparity and promoting education, testing, and treatment.

The rates of HCV infection and HCV-related mortality are twice as high as for black people as for non-Hispanic whites. HCV is a leading cause of potentially life-threatening liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will issue a proclamation officially recognizing July 25 as African American Hepatitis C Action Day. Media are invited to attend a 12 noon press conference on the steps of New York City Hall, where the initiative will be introduced and the proclamation will be presented.

Free testing and educational resources will be offered in Albany, Atlanta, Buffalo, Detroit, New York City (including East and Central Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx), Rochester, and other locations to be announced.

A free, interactive webinar, African Americans and Hepatitis C,” presented by leading health experts, will provide information about clinical issues, prevention, treatment, and care.

WHAT:  Press Conference and Presentation of New York City Proclamation

WHEN:  Thursday, July 25, 2013, 12 noon – 1:00 pm EDT

WHERE:  New York City, City Hall (steps)

WHO:  Speakers:

  • C. Virginia Fields, President and CEO, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA)
  • Gloria Searson, Founder and President, Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment (COPE)
  • Hadiyah Charles, Hepatitis C Advocacy Manager, Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Christopher H. Bates, Senior Advisor to the Director, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Debra Frazer-Howze, Senior VP of Government and External Affairs, OraSure Technologies, Inc.
  • Guillermo Chacón, President, Latino Commission on AIDS
  • The Hon. Richard N. Gottfried, Chair, NYS Assembly Committee on Health
  • Members of the New York City Council and New York State Senate and Assembly (invited)

Hepatitis C is a silent epidemic in the United States today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 3.2 million adults are infected with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV)—75 percent of them Baby Boomers—and, because there are often no noticeable symptoms, many don’t know they are infected.

Media who wish to attend the press conference should contact Teri Wade, 212-595-4047, teri@missionandmessage.com. For a full schedule of African American Hepatitis C Action Day events, visit harmreduction.org or www.nblca.org.

###

Designed & Developed by Firefly Partners