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Help Support Increased Funding for Viral Hepatitis Prevention

July 01, 2009

CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW!!

On July 8th, the House of Representatives will begin to mark up the FY2010 Labor-HHS-Education bill which includes funding for viral hepatitis prevention. This represents an opportunity for Congress to provide critical funding to address the hepatitis B and C epidemics facing our nation.

DVH only receives $18.3 million, which is not enough money to implement sufficient viral hepatitis programming across the U.S. An increase in funding is a vital first step in developing more widely available hepatitis services, including testing and counseling, vaccination, and referral to care, as well as establishing a surveillance system for chronic HBV and HCV.

Please help us fight for increased viral hepatitis prevention funding by contacting your Representative about the tremendous need in your area of the country. Please take a few minutes to make these important phone calls!

HOW YOU CAN HELP

It is urgent that your calls be made this week. Please call your Representative’s Washington, DC office. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles healthcare issues. Whether you speak to this person directly or leave a message, tell them:

“My name is ________________ and I’m a constituent of Representative ________________.  I am calling to urge your office to weigh in with Chairman Obey of the Subcommittee on Labor- HHS-Education to support increased funding for CDC’s Division of Viral Hepatitis by $31.7 million, for a total of $50 million.  Hepatitis B and C affects over 6 million Americans with roughly 4 million Americans chronically infected.  Chronic viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer, one of the top 10 killers of Americans every year, and the leading cause of liver transplants each year. Congress has historically cut or flat funded the Division of Viral Hepatitis. Money for prevention of hepatitis B and C is critical to increase counseling, testing and referral in order to begin to get a handle on this potentially life-threatening and expensive, chronic disease.”

You can call your Representative at 202.225.3121. You will get the Capitol switchboard. Ask to be connected to your Representative’s office.

It is especially important that all Representatives who are Appropriators receive phone calls. If you live in any of these jurisdictions, it is critical that you contact your Representative to weigh in on increased funds for viral hepatitis prevention.

Thanks for taking the time to make these important phone calls!