"WELCOME TO THE VIETNAM VIRAL HEPATITIS ALLIANCE!"
In Vietnam, with a population of 92.5 million, as many as 12 million individuals are estimated to be chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and another 3 million may have hepatitis C virus (HCV). The rate of HBV infection per capita in Vietnam is 20 times as high as in the United States.
Unfortunately, many millions who are chronically infected with HBV or HCV will eventually develop scarring of the liver and liver cancer.
Most of those who are chronically infected with a hepatitis virus are unaware of their infection. After possible initial flu-like symptoms in the early stage of infection, few if any signs or symptoms are noticeable until many years later when liver damage may start to cause very serious problems.
In addition, those who are chronically infected with HBV or HCV are contagious and may inadvertently pass the viral infection on to others often including loved ones.
Clearly, viral hepatitis in Vietnam creates a hugely personal, emotional, social, public health, and economic burden.
Fortunately, there are now very good screening tests and pharmaceutical agents that are effective in detecting HBV or HCV and in treating infections that may exist.
To address the huge hepatitis problem in Vietnam, bold large-scale programs are needed to provide awareness, information, education, screening, and access to proper medical care. The Vietnam Viral Hepatitis Alliance, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, exists to find, stimulate, and support initiatives in these areas.
The cooperation and generous support of all who share in the mission and goals of the VVHA are greatly appreciated. Please contact us if you are interested in making a tax deductible contribution to our cause.
Doan Y Dao, MD