500 million people worldwide are living with either chronic hepatitis B or C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, awareness is inexplicably low and the majority of those infected are unaware.
World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since 2008 World Hepatitis Day has been coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance.
In May 2010 the World Health Assembly passed resolution WHA63.18 on viral hepatitis which provides official endorsement of World Hepatitis Day as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts. To date, thousands of events have taken place around the world, from rock concerts and press briefings to ministerial meetings and fundraising events.
World Hepatitis Day events take place all over the world. See Hepatitis Australia website for details of events near you, or you set up an event of your own! See the World Hepatitis Alliance website for assistance.