The two major objectives of the Healthy People 2010 federal initiative are to improve the health of all people and to reduce health disparities between different ethnic and racial groups in the population by the year 2010.
The greatest health disparity between Asian Americans and white Americans is liver cancer, 80% of which is caused by chronic hepatitis B infection. Approximately 10% of all Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans have chronic hepatitis B infection compared with 0.1% of Caucasian Americans. Liver cancer rates are 9 times higher in Vietnamese Americans, 4 times higher in Korean Americans, and 4 times higher in Chinese Americans than in Caucasian Americans.
In May 2001, the Asian Liver Center launched the Jade Ribbon Campaign in the San Francisco Bay Area to spread awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer in the Asian community. Since then, the Jade Ribbon Campaign has spread across the country and the world, reaching Asian communities not only in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Arizona, New York, Hawaii, as well as China and the Philippines, uniting people from all walks of life in the fight against hepatitis B and liver cancer. The objective of the campaign is to increase awareness and provide ethnic-sensitive health information to the API community and health professionals in an effort to reduce this major health disparity and improve API health. Partners of the Jade Ribbon Campaign include over 400 groups of community organizations and federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Hepatitis B Task Force for Immunization, and the Health Resources and Services Administration and its affiliated agencies in the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Considered to be the essence of heaven and earth, Jade is believed in many Asian cultures to bring good luck and longevity while deflecting negativity. Folded like the Chinese character meaning “person” or “people,” the Jade Ribbon symbolizes the united voices of those fighting hepatitis B and liver cancer worldwide.
For more information, please visit the TeamHBV Website