Aids Weekly Plus
To address the high rate of hepatitis B and C infection among Asian populations in the Boston area, students from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Brown University will hold a community health event as part of a worldwide Guinness Book of World Records effort to increase awareness and education. The event will take place on World Hepatitis Day, Sunday, July 28.
Hepatitis has a higher global prevalence than HIV and cancer, but awareness remains low. Locally, Asians form less than 10 percent of Boston’s total population but account for more than 50 percent of new chronic hepatitis B cases. They also have a liver cancer mortality rate three times higher than the city-wide average. The majority of those infected are unaware they have the disease, which is why viral hepatitis is known as a “silent epidemic.”
To garner awareness, the students, Quest Diagnostics, and the Massachusetts Asian and Pacific Islanders for Health will attempt to get this event in the Guinness Book of World Records. Participants will cover their eyes, ears, and mouth to mimic “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” as a way to invoke the proverbial principle of feigning ignorance. The event is part of the World Hepatitis Alliance’s larger attempt to win inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records by having the most people perform these actions in a 24-hour period at multiple global venues.