In an effort to draw attention to the prevalence and danger of Hepatitis B, the Hepatitis B Virus Team has launched a week-long awareness campaign that includes jade-colored cupcakes, make-your-own plushie toys, and a forum discussion.
"Hepatitis B is a really important disease worldwide affecting 350 million people, and one in four of those affected will develop liver cancer or another liver disease,” said Carol Tran ’14, co-vice president of community outreach for the HBV Team. “The problem is that it is asymptomatic, so if you have the virus, you will not feel any pain. It’s really important for people to get their blood screened.”
The HBV Team organized Harvard’s Hepatitis B Awareness Week in the hopes that students might take steps to prevent or identify Hepatitis B, a virus that infects the liver.
“Our short term goal is to make people more aware. A lack of knowledge is the reason people get this disease,” President David D. Yang ’13 said. “This is a disease that affects millions each year, yet people don’t talk about it.”
The HBV Team lined up a series of activities throughout the course of the week. On Monday, Annenberg and other dining halls served cupcakes with jade-colored frosting—a nod to the Jade Ribbon Campaign, which seeks to spread awareness about the virus.“
It got people talking, I think. I thought it was pretty good,” said Jean J. Shiao ’13, vice president of political advocacy for the HBV Team.
On Thursday, the HBV Team will host an event where students can make their own HBV plushie toys while snacking on ice cream sundaes and listening to music.“
It will be a fun event where students can engage in something for a good cause. We’ll provide all the kits and materials,” said Matthew G. Yung ’13, the HBV Team’s other co-vice president of community outreach.
The week will culminate on Saturday with the Jade Forum, which will feature a number of speakers and discussions. Students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other groups that helped to organize the event will also participate.
Representatives from the Massachusetts State Department will discuss public health approaches to tackling Hepatitis B at the Forum, according to Shiao.
The HBV Team hopes to become “more integrated...on campus in future years,” Shiao said. But for now the group has focused its efforts on spreading awareness that Hepatitis B is a “totally preventable” silent killer, according to Yang.
“Our long term goal with HBV and other focus groups is to eradicate the disease. It shouldn’t exist because we have vaccines and people should know their status [whether or not they are a carrier],” Yang said.
—Staff writer Laya Anasu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Stepping Stone to EqualityAs we celebrate recent milestones in the fight for Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transsexual equality in the United States, discriminatory ...
Mutant Protein Is Key to Fighting Ebola VirusThe African Ebola filovirus is a master hijacker. Co-opting a host cell’s cargo-transport system, an Ebola virus passes undetected through a cell’s outer membrane and overtakes the host’s molecular machinery for its own proliferation.
Stomach Flu Outbreak SpreadsThere has been a slight increase in the number of cases of gastrointestinal illnesses, particularly norovirus, among College students, administrators announced in a campus-wide email on Tuesday.
The Unspoken EpidemicWhat the fight against Hepatitis C needs is both attention and money, and a lot of it.
Study Break Kicks off Hepatitis B Awareness Week
HMS Researchers Make Progress Suppressing HIV In MonkeysIn a comprehensive study led by HMS professor Dan H. Barouch ’93, scientists were able to use specific antibodies taken from human HIV victims to suppress viral activity in monkeys infected with simian-human immunodeficiency virus. The study was published in the scientific journal Nature on Oct. 30.