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  • Jennifer E. Slepin, MSN,RN, PHN

Awareness Requires Action


May is Hepatitis Awareness Month. There are all kinds of hepatitis- A, B, C, D, E- maybe even more. Each of them is different. None of them are good, and some are worse than others. The CDC has a great website where you can go to learn about each different type.

Awareness or a lack thereof, is a problem. Once we become aware, however, is that enough? In my mind, the answer is NO! Awareness requires that we act accordingly. If we don't, we are static, and nothing changes. In the case of a silent infection with a hepatitis virus, the liver is slowly and methodically being damaged by the chronic inflammation of liver tissue that scars as a means healing itself. Left untreated, cirrhosis will occur, leading to liver cancer.

At a grass roots level, the most important action any individual can take is to be tested for both hepatitis C (HCV) and hepatitis B (HBV). Both diseases are silent and potentially deadly.

Next time you go to your doctor, ask them to test you for hepatitis. That simple action may be the one that saves your life!!


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