Public health specialist works to raise hepatitis B awareness

Janet Zola, the health promotion specialist at the Department of Public Health and co-creator of “SF Hep B Free,” was part of a week of events to raise awareness about hepatitis B in the Asian and Pacific Islander population (API).

What is Hep B Free? It’s a broad spectrum coalition of people in health care, the Asian-American community, businesses and nonprofits all coming together to stop the spread of hepatitis B and liver cancer.

Why the Asian-American community?
In the API population there is a 10 percent infection rate. This is chronic, as it is less than
1 percent in the general population. It is one of the greatest health disparities we’ve seen.

How do you get the disease? The disease is generally passed on at birth. Over half the people infected are unaware of it. When you become affected at a very early age there are no symptoms. Only simple blood tests can tell you.  

Can you get it any other way?
It’s also a blood borne disease that can be transmitted sexually or through needles. Hepatitis B is about 100 times more infectious than HIV.

What’s the problem with fighting this disease?
The great thing is we have all the tools to prevent and fight this disease. The problem is the lack of knowledge, lack of awareness and lack of funding support.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Anti-eviction demonstrators rally outside San Francisco Superior Court. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Report: Unpaid rent due to COVID-19 could be up to $32.7M per month

A new city report that attempts to quantify how much rent has… Continue reading

Most Read