Hepatitis B: A Philadelphia Story

Philadelphia is at the center of the hepatitis B story. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) was discovered by Dr. Baruch Blumberg at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. He invented the first hepatitis vaccine that is now manufactured by only two companies which are both located in the Philadelphia region. The first animal that was discovered to be most useful in studying hepatitis B was a groundhog living in the Philadelphia Zoo. The only national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B – the Hepatitis B Foundation – was established just outside of Philadelphia. Therefore, it is only natural that Philadelphia would now take the lead in advancing the Hep B United campaign as a means to help make hepatitis a top health priority.

HBV is lethal and must be stopped! The good news is that hepatitis B is preventable and treatable. In fact, the hepatitis B vaccine is the first designated “anti-cancer” vaccine because it can prevent chronic hepatitis B infections, which is the primary cause of liver cancer worldwide. Tragically, most Americans are unaware of their disease status because they have not been tested or vaccinated against HBV.