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Action Alert! As part of our activities around World Hepatitis Awareness Day, a sample letter has been created for people to use to write to their Senators/Representatives urging them to take leadership on HCV issues. Please consider sending to your networks, friends, family, etc. and ask them to take a few minutes to write a letter. They can email the letter to their Senators and Congressperson or mail to the district office. Mailing to the DC office is not recommended because of delays in delivering mail within the Capitol......:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O /> We will soon send an Action Alert preparing for our 5/19 "Call Congress" day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Date The Honorable ____________ United States Senate/United States House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 (for Senate)/20510 (for House) Dear Senator/Representative________________ As we approach World Hepatitis Awareness Day, held on May 19th, I urge you to take a leadership role in the fight against the hepatitis C epidemic. Hepatitis C is the most common blood-borne chronic viral infection in the United States. Once exposed, most individuals remain persistently infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), with 70% developing chronic liver disease and its often life-threatening conditions. At least 4 million Americans currently have chronic hepatitis C, with 25,000 new infections occurring every year. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that the death rate from HCV-related liver disease will triple by the year 2019. No other disease burden is expected to increase as rapidly as that of hepatitis C in the coming decade. Despite these staggering statistics, the federal government has not provided adequate funding or legislation to mount a comprehensive effort against the disease. Only $17 million is spent each year on viral hepatitis programs. This funding is not enough for states to provide testing, surveillance, prevention, and education services – let alone care and treatment for those in need. Write your personal statement here. Tell your story in 3-4 sentences. What is your connection to hepatitis C? There are two specific ways that you, as my elected representative, can help address this serious public health crisis. First, please support $50 million in Fiscal Year 2009 funding for the CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis Programs. This would greatly help states to provide prevention services, testing, and hepatitis A and B vaccines. Second, please co-sponsor the "Hepatitis C Epidemic Control and Prevention Act," which would create a comprehensive effort by the federal government to address the HCV epidemic. Thank you for considering this request. Please keep me informed about your position on this issue. If you have any questions or need additional information, please let me know. Sincerely, Your Name.
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