Delegate Mark Keam's Hep B Day Bill Passes the House
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Friday, January 25, 2013
Contact: Julia Kim
RICHMOND, VA — The Virginia House of Delegates today approved, by a unanimous vote of 95-0, Delegate Mark Keam's House Joint Resolution 724 that designates May 19 in 2013 and in each succeeding year thereafter as Hepatitis B Awareness Day in Virginia.
The Hepatitis B virus is the most common cause of liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer in the world, and disproportionately affects Asian Americans. Left untreated, Hepatitis B can even cause death. It is estimated that 800,000 to 1.4 million people in the U.S. have chronic Hepatitis B, and according to the Virginia Department of Health, up to 36,000 Virginians suffer from chronic Hepatitis B.
Korean Americans are one of the largest and fastest growing ethnic communities in Northern Virginia, and the metropolitan area ranks third in order of the largest populations of Korean Americans in the country with 82,000 Korean Americans in the Commonwealth alone. Nearly 10% of the 35th House District is Asian American and Pacific Islander.
"I chose May 19 to coincide with World Hepatitis Awareness Day and introduced this legislation in the hopes of raising awareness, educating the public, and encouraging a call to action on finding ways to implement best practices in prevention and treatment," said Keam.
Del. Keam worked closely with the San Francisco Hep B Free Campaign and the Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington, D.C. on this legislation.
Delegate Mark Keam (www.DelegateKeam.org, @MarkKeam) represents Virginia's 35th District, located in Fairfax County. The House District includes Tysons, the Town of Vienna, Dunn Loring and portions of McLean, Oakton and Fairfax. Currently serving in his second term, Delegate Keam is a member of the House Education, Finance and Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources committees and the Joint Subcommittee to Evaluate Tax Preferences.