Dear American Legion Family members and friends,
With your help, The American Legion will TAKE ON HEP C and win.
AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, and The American Legion are working together to help our nation’s veterans get tested for hepatitis C (hep C).
Such testing is critical for veterans. Did you know that one out of every 20 veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration has hep C? That’s more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population.
The disease affects the liver and is caused by the hep C virus. About 3.4 million Americans have chronic hep C, making it the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the nation. Hep C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
Veterans are at a heightened risk if they received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992. Or if they worked in health-care settings with potential blood-to-blood exposure. Hep C can also be spread when personal items such as razors or toothbrushes are shared with someone who has the virus, or from getting tattoos or body piercings in unregulated settings.
The American Legion and AbbVie have worked together to bring free testing to hundreds of our nation’s veterans during the past couple of months. The TAKE ON HEP C tour bus kicked off the campaign at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in early August. The tour also made an appearance at The American Legion’s 100th National Convention in Minneapolis. In October, it will visit Biketobferest in Daytona, Fla.
Together, The American Legion and AbbVie have provided attendees with educational resources to help them learn about the disease, understand their risk factors and receive the tests.
This part education/part testing approach is important for all veterans. The testing can help alleviate the concerns of not only a veteran, but his or her family members. And for those who test positive, it helps get started on the road to recovery.
If you are a veteran, visit legion.org/hepC to learn more about the disease, exposure risks, symptoms and testing information. Learn the risk factors, get yourself tested and – if need be – consult with your doctor about treatment.
It’s that easy. Join the fight today to TAKE ON HEP C.