As one of 180 million people affected by hepatitis C around the world, Steven Tyler, lead singer of AEROSMITH, has received praise from international patient organizations for talking openly about his battle with hepatitis C. The announcement from Steven Tyler comes just days before World Hepatitis Awareness Day 2006.
Muriel Colinet, President of the European Liver Patient Association (ELPA), expressed her gratitude to Steven Tyler, saying that "Steven Tyler has taken the important and brave step to reveal his hepatitis C status, a move that is vital if we are to succeed in our battle to combat this devastating disease." She added that "only by talking openly about the disease and by encouraging people who might be at risk to get tested can we begin to tackle this global problem."
Steven Tyler adds his name to that of a number of celebrities, including Sir Bob Geldof, who are attempting to raise awareness of hepatitis B and C, diseases that affect almost 600 million people worldwide. Speaking in a pre-recorded message at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe on Tuesday, Sir Bob Geldof explained that "stigma, shame and fear can suffocate awareness. These barriers prevent people from getting tested, getting treatment and clearing themselves of the disease."
Sunday, October 1, 2006 marks the third annual World Hepatitis Awareness Day. The theme for this year is "Get Tested" and people at risk from the disease are encouraged to do just that — get tested.
For more information regarding activities around the world, visit www.worldhepatitisawarenessday.com.