19 May is World Hepatitis C Day, and we would like to use the occasion to remind Anita's friends and admirers to GET TESTED. This year's theme is AM I NUMBER 12? - referring to the startling fact that one in 12 people worldwide is infected with the hepatitis C virus. That is a greater percentage than HIV or any cancer.
Anita was infected with Hep C upon the birth of her second child as the result of a blood transfusion - in the early 1970s the blood supply was not being tested for Hepatitis C.
Before she passed unexpectedly, Anita had agreed to campaign with the Hepatitis C Trust in the UK to raise awareness about the virus and to fight the stigma associated with it. We would like to carry on that fight by asking you to consider that most people infected with Hepatitis C are unaware of it, and none of them "deserves" it. While often associated with drug users and sex workers, in fact most people infected with Hep C are regular people: mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends, teachers, nurses, doctors, bankers, lawyers, and even entrepreneurs and celebrities. The virus does not have to destroy lives, but we have to fight its spread, educate the public about transmission, and most of all battle bias and misinformation.
Start by asking yourself: Am I Number 12? And go to your GP for a simple blood test.