Resolution 240398

Declaring May 2024 to be Hepatitis Awareness Month in Philadelphia to recognize and support the joint efforts of "Hep B United Philadelphia" and "Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia" coalitions aimed at raising awareness of the link between viral hepatitis and liver cancer and the importance of elimination activities.

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May 2, 2024 - CITY COUNCIL
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Title
Declaring May 2024 to be Hepatitis Awareness Month in Philadelphia to recognize and support the joint efforts of “Hep B United Philadelphia” and “Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia” coalitions aimed at raising awareness of the link between viral hepatitis and liver cancer and the importance of elimination activities.
 
Body
WHEREAS, Hepatitis B and C viruses are serious public health concerns; an estimated 7 million Americans and the latest data suggests more than 50,000 Philadelphians are living with these viruses, which are leading causes of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplants. Most people living with hepatitis B and C are not aware of their infection.
 
WHEREAS, Hepatitis B is the world’s most serious liver infection, causing over 80% of primary liver cancer cases in the world, disproportionately impacting people of Asian, Pacific Islander, and African descent; killing 1 in 4 chronically infected persons prematurely from cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure; and
 
WHEREAS, Hepatitis B is completely preventable with a safe and effective vaccine but less than 40% of high-risk individuals are vaccinated against Hepatitis B; and
 
WHEREAS, Hepatitis C is the most common bloodborne infection in the U.S. and since a majority of people living with the virus do not even know they are infected, hepatitis C now kills more people than HIV/AIDS; and
 
WHEREAS, In the U.S., liver cancer is the only cancer that continues to rise in new cases and in deaths each year, for both men and women, primarily due to infections with hepatitis B and hepatitis C; and
 
WHEREAS, 50,000 Philadelphians have been diagnosed for hepatitis C but fewer than half receive care and treatment for it, though a cure for hepatitis C is now available; and
 
WHEREAS, Hepatitis B and C testing followed by treatment is associated with a 50%-80% reduction in the risk of liver cancer.
 
WHEREAS, Over 25,000 Philadelphians are living with hepatitis B, and key populations need to learn their status so their infection can be controlled with medication, thereby halting progression to liver cancer, liver failure, and death; and
 
WHEREAS, Philadelphia’s Asian communities are disproportionately affected by hepatitis B, with infection rates ranging from 4%-23%; but fortunately, they are supported by Hep B United Philadelphia, marking its 12th year as the largest local community-based coalition working to eliminate health disparities faced by Asian Philadelphians; and
 
WHEREAS, All Philadelphians living with the hepatitis C deserve access to medication that can eliminate the disease and prevent the costs associated with serious liver disease and the Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia have supported prevention, testing, and treatment access for all Philadelphia residents for 12 years; and
 
WHEREAS, The Council of the City of Philadelphia supports testing all high-risk Philadelphians for hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia and Hep B United Philadelphia have succeeded in convening state leaders to prioritize ending hepatitis B and hepatitis C in Pennsylvania and will continue to demand equitable access to a cure to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C from our community; and
 
WHEREAS, A collaboration between Hep B United Philadelphia and Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia has led to the recognition of Philadelphia as a national leader in the fight against viral hepatitis; the mobilization of local stakeholders to raise the public profile of viral hepatitis as an urgent health priority; the establishment of strong private-public partnerships; the identification of gaps in local hepatitis B and C services, and development of  innovative projects to improve access to hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment; and
 
WHEREAS, Efforts to fight viral hepatitis by Hep B United Philadelphia and Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia  are supported by the people of Philadelphia, including multitudes of community members, healthcare institutions, schools of medicine and public health, students, community and cultural organizations, local businesses, academics, and the Philadelphia Medical Society; now, therefore, be it
 
RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, Declares May 2024 to be Hepatitis Awareness Month in Philadelphia to recognize and support the joint efforts of “Hep B United Philadelphia” and “Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia” coalitions aimed at raising awareness of the link between viral hepatitis and liver cancer and the importance of elimination activities; and
 
FURTHER RESOLVED, That an embossed copy of the Resolution be presented to the Hepatitis B Foundation as the lead organization of Hep B United Philadelphia, and to the Hepatitis C Allies of Philadelphia, evidencing the sincere support and admiration of this legislative body.
 
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Data: https://phila.legistar.com/