NOhep Villager: The Hepatitis B Foundation

The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Our commitment includes funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives, and serving as the primary source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community, and the general public.

What do you plan to do at your booth in the NOhep Village?

We will be showing a collection of 3-minute digital stories from #justB – our national, multi-lingual hepatitis B patient storytelling campaign. In addition to showing the #justB videos at our booth, we will also have posters, postcards, and other printed materials for visitors to learn more about each story/storyteller, as well as about the overall campaign and how we are using personal stories to increase hepatitis B awareness, empower patients, and reduce stigma.

What do you hope delegates will learn from your booth?

The goals of the #justB campaign are to increase hepatitis B awareness and advocacy; decrease stigma and discrimination associated with the disease; and promote testing, vaccination, and linkage to care and treatment. We hope to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of engaging people directly affected, alongside the scientific and medical community, in the fight toward hepatitis B elimination. We hope that by watching/reading the #justB stories at our booth, and engaging with our storytellers in person, visitors will learn more about the barriers and stigma faced by hepatitis patients and how we can all help raise the profile of hepatitis B as an urgent global public health priority.

What will make your booth stand out?

Our booth will feature 25 unique personal stories about individuals and families affected by hepatitis B and liver cancer. The stories are told in 7 different languages, and our storytellers represent diverse cultures and different aspects of living with hepatitis B (including stigma, co-infection, discrimination, treatment, disclosure, caregivers, adoption, transplantation, and liver cancer). The stories help humanize the global hepatitis B epidemic, bringing to life the alarming statistics and consequences of this silent killer.

What are you most looking forward to about the Global Hepatitis Summit?

We look forward to participating in this important meeting as representatives of the patient and advocate community. We are excited for the opportunity to share our stories and engage in meaningful discussion with clinicians, researchers, and other advocates from around the world about working together to eliminate viral hepatitis!

How will exhibiting in the NOhep Village benefit your organisation?

The opportunity to participate in the NOhep Village will help expand the reach of our #justB campaign. We will have an opportunity to collect feedback and suggestions on the videos and the overall campaign, which will help us improve the experience/process for storytellers and enhance the content produced for our audiences. Participating in the NOhep Village will also help us identify potential new partnerships, storytellers, media engagement opportunities, and other connections that will be useful as we continue to expand our storytelling campaign and other patient-oriented programs.

How have you worked with the scientific community in the past?

The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) funds scientific researchers working to find a cure for hepatitis B, as well as early detection methods for cirrhosis and liver cancer, through our Baruch S. Blumberg Research Institute. HBF works closely with scientists, public health professionals, and clinicians to develop hepatitis B-related priorities and programs; engage in the exchange of knowledge; translate research findings into practice; and advocate on behalf of hepatitis B patients and high-risk communities. HBF manages the annual International HBV Meeting, the largest global meeting of basic scientists working on hepatitis B. HBF staff sit on multiple scientific boards and advisory committees, including at CDC, WHO, and the HBF Forum