SAO PAULO, May 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The famous statue of Christ, in Rio de Janeiro ischanging colors on May 19th and 20th. The statue will leave its traditional white illumination, and take the hep colors to call attention to what is being known as the "epidemy of the century."
With as many as half a billion people infected in the world, the need to test the population for the virus detection is urgent, says Humberto Silva, president of the Brazilian Association for Hepatitis Patients. "Only 10% of those infected are aware of their disease." The whole rest of them don't have any idea they are carrying an assassin inside their bodies.
The disease is known as a silent killer, because it can stay for many years, destroying one's liver without giving any sign or symptom. When the first symptom emerges, it is usually too late and the patient is near death.
Hepatitis is the main cause for liver transplantation in the world, accounting for 80% of the procedures. It can cause severe liver damage such as cirrhosis and liver tumor.
But if the virus is found in time, there is treatment and cure.
Detection is the best prevention.
The statue of Christ will also pay homage to those who are fighting a hard battle against the disease and for the hundreds of thousands who have died because of the hepatitis virus.
This year the celebrations for the World awareness for hepatitis will be split between this week of May and July 28th (a new date suggested by the World Health Organization)
More information can be found on the following sites:
SOURCE Associacao Brasileira dos portadores de Hepatite
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