‘B HERE’ for hepatitis B

A new on-campus campaign designed to raise awareness of hepatitis B will commence today when students, public health experts and performers join forces to launch B HERE.

‘There are two parts to this event. There is a hepatitis B art exhibit being put on during the day for students to attend, learn about the disease and receive tickets to the show,’ YouTube sensation Kevin Wu (aka KevJumba) said.’

‘After the exhibit, the show will be held for students to attend and enjoy.’ We are showcasing performers ranging from Kaba Modern to David Choi to HappySlip,’ Wu said.’ ‘The performers all have large fan bases, and it’s not often we collaborate to put on a show, so this is exciting for all of us.”

Wu said he wanted to be part of B HERE because he wants to raise awareness about hepatitis B.

The first portion of the event will take place at the University Center, Houston Room, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students can learn about hepatitis B symptoms and receive other information.

The second part of the event will be held at the Cullen Performance Hall from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and will feature various live performances. ‘

Hepatitis B awareness aims to spread the word to students, and to provide them with all the appropriate and necessary resources.

‘The B HERE campaign wants the Asian-American community to be informed, and to take this awareness back to their families,’ comedian Christine Gambito (HappySlip) said. ‘Knowing that the younger generation can inform and motivate the older generation to get tested is also key in combating hepatitis B.’

‘ Gambito said the main reason for this event is to encourage more people to get tested, so the disease can be caught at an earlier state.’

‘ ‘By making the public aware to the symptoms, cause and treatment of hepatitis B, we can make significant progress towards eradication of this life-threatening disease,’ UT medical student Sam Li said. ‘

The B HERE campaign campus tour, sponsored by biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, is an attempt to educate college students through art, music and dance entertainment. The event has received great feedback from audiences at other universities, and has so far been a sold-out show. ‘

‘So far, the mini-tour has been a success, and is still in its early stages,’ Wu said.’ ‘We are looking to finish this mini-tour before we decide to schedule more events and locations.’ But if this tour continues to be successful, there is always the possibility of future events.’

Hepatitis B is a life-threatening liver disease that affects around 2 million people in the U.S. ‘- many of whom are Asian-American.’

Chronic hepatitis B is called a ‘silent killer,’ because it often causes no symptoms while it damages the liver. ‘

The disease can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and treated with new medicines. Still, as many as two-thirds of Asian Americans with chronic hepatitis B do not know they are infected, putting their own health and that of their loved ones at risk.’ Awareness of hepatitis B should be considered a first priority, as emphasized by the organizing committee.’

‘People need to get tested for hepatitis B and get vaccinated as soon as possible,’ Li said. ‘Like everything else, education is power in this fight, and has proved time and again to be a very effective tool in health care.’

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