Hepatitis B and C Now Seen as a Larger Epidemic than HIV

Posted on February 18, 2014 by Meredith

On February 16th, 2014 the Hindustan Times published an article about the recent revelation that Hepatitis, especially Hep B and C, could be a larger epidemic than HIV and AIDS.  The disease is heavily prevalent not only in India, but around the world.

“Global Health Advocates India executive director Bobby John said, ‘The situation seems grim, even with the currently known numbers of people with the disease.  Estimations say that there are between 25-45 million people living with Hepatitis B and C, far greater than the prevalence of HIV or cancer.'”

In response to the growing epidemic in India, where nearly 12 million people have the disease, there was a session organized by the National Liver Foundation (NLF) to spread awareness of the disease in Chandigarh, India this past Sunday.

 

A terminally ill liver cancer patient in Mongolia

A terminally ill liver cancer patient in Mongolia

 

Hepatitis B and C are the most prevalent in Mongolia.  It is Hepatitis, along with widespread alcohol use that have lead to rampant cases of liver cancer within the country, as reported in a 2011 article in the Lancet.  The article also explains that Mongolia has the world’s highest rate of liver cancer mortality — six times the global average.  Even though there is a prevalence of Hepatitis and other liver-related diseases — such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cirrhosis — that come from complications of the disease, little attention is paid to these diseases.  More emphasis is placed on HIV, Tuberculosis, and avian influenza.

 

While there are vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, there is no such preventative measure for Hepatitis C, which is often referred to as the “silent killer”.  It is often unable to be detected or diagnosed immediately, leaving too little room for proper treatment.  Furthermore, the reason Hepatitis is so prevalent in countries such as Mongolia is that the treatments that make the disease curable in developed countries are too expensive for Mongolian hospitals and citizens to afford.

 

It is believed that more sanitary medical practices and facilities may be the only means (for now) of combating Hepatitis in Mongolia.  This is where organizations such as FIRE can help, with the donation of proper disposal equipment, materials for Hepatitis testing, and the construction of proper facilities.  With the help of donations and other means, FIRE looks to continue its goals of curbing the effects of Hepatitis in Mongolia.  If you would like to help, you can donate to FIRE, shop on our website, or even volunteer with us on our future projects.

 

 

FIRE is a registered 501c.3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.