Today North East Medical Services (NEMS) in conjunction with Hep B Free Santa Clara County, hosted a community launch of free weekly hepatitis b screenings at the NEMS San Jose clinic located at 1715 Lundy Ave, Suite 108. Community leaders and the public were on hand to celebrate the grand opening of the free screenings that will take place every Friday from 10 a.m. to noon.
San Jose City Councilman Kansen Chu Speaker pro Tem Emeritus of the California State Assembly and Hep B Free Honorary Chairperson Fiona Ma were on hand.
Community supporters in attendance included:
Asian American Women’s Alliance
Asian Liver Center at Stanford
Asian Americans for Community Involvement
Community Health Partnership
North East Medical Services
Hep B Free Santa Clara County
Joint Alumni Association of Chinese American Colleges
Silicon Valley Information Business Alliance
Silicon Valley Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum
Office of Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski
Office of Assemblyman Paul Fong
As many as 1 in 10 Asian and Pacific Islanders are chronically infected with hepatitis B, world-wide. Of these, 2 out of 3 don’t know they are infected and 1 in 4 will develop liver cancer or liver disease if untreated. Nearly 80% of all liver cancer cases are directly associated with chronic hepatitis B. Across the globe, approximately 1 million people die from liver cancer or liver disease each year as a direct result of hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is so dangerous because it is a silent killer. Unlike other diseases, the hepatitis B virus quietly and continuously attacks the liver over many years often without creating noticeable symptoms. The majority of those chronically infected contract the disease unknowingly at birth from their mothers. For those who are chronic carriers, there is a significant increased risk of developing serious liver complications in as early as one’s mid twenties. Chronic carriers might feel and test perfectly healthy and still develop deadly liver cancer. Simple but specific tests must be used to detect the virus. Unfortunately, these tests are not normally given during checkups and otherwise healthy individuals become victims. Protecting one’s self is easy. An affordable vaccine exists that protects an individual for life.