Saturday, July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, an annual event held very year to help raise awareness and advocate for testing, treatment and eventual elimination of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). The AIDS Institute reports the theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is “Test. Treat. Hepatitis.”

The awareness day, created in 2010, is one of only four official disease-specific health days recognized annually by the World Health Organization (WHO). Global health and viral hepatitis advocates across the globe will take part in a number of activities this weekend to raise awareness around viral hepatitis, call for better access to treatment and prevention, and advocate for further government action in combating liver-disease-related illness.

In honor of the event, the World Hepatitis Alliance is launching its new “Find the Missing Millions” campaign, which focuses on increasing the number of people tested and screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) around the world. The advocacy group will also host a social media thunderclap, which allows people around the world to to simultaneously share a post raising awareness about the day and the virus. On 12 p.m. PST, the message, “290+ mil are living with viral hepatitis unaware. On World Hepatitis Day, Find the Missing Millions - get tested!” will be shared simultaneously across Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to get the word out about World Hepatitis Day to millions of people. 

To get involved in this year’s World Hepatitis Day events, check out the World Hepatitis Alliance’s website, which has a calendar of events showing all the advocacy events taking place across the globe. In addition, the group has published over 400 customizable posters, social media graphics, merchandise and more— all available for free download.

According to WHO, 325 million people are currently living with hepatitis B and C around the world. In the United States, an estimated 5 million people are living with viral hepatitis, and more than half are still unaware of their infection. Over years or decades, chronic hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for a liver transplant. Join in the fight to raise awareness, fight hepatitis stigma, and increase treatment for these treatable, preventable illnesses.