May Commemorates Hepatitis Awareness Month
Chicago, IL – Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) announced that it will now offer TWINRIX, a vaccine to prevent Hepatitis A and B, at all 19 of its health centers. May is designated Hepatitis Awareness Month.
“Hepatitis A and B can be transmitted sexually and can have serious consequences,” said Steve Trombley, PPIL President and CEO. “Anyone who has had unprotected sex and/or multiple partners is at risk of Hepatitis A and B. It’s crucial that we inform people about these dangerous diseases and provide them with the resources they need to stay healthy and safe.”
“We are pleased to offer a vaccine for both Hepatitis A and B that is safe, effective and virtually pain free,” Trombley said. “Most appointments can be scheduled on the same day that a patient calls.”
While acute cases of hepatitis A and hepatitis B have declined dramatically in Illinois since the introduction of vaccines, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 32,000 new hepatitis A infections and 46,000 new hepatitis B infections in the United States in 2006. Every year, an estimated 5,100 deaths occur as a result of hepatitis B, and the risk for hepatitis B can be up to 100 times greater than for HIV.
Hepatitis A and B are serious liver diseases that can be transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person or an infected needle with drug use, body piercings or tattoos. Hepatitis A can also be transmitted through contaminated food or waste.
The vaccine is given in a series of three shots. The subsequent shots are given one month and six months after the first shot, though the injection schedule can be flexible.
TWINRIX is available to men and women over the age of 18. Patients who have had multiple partners or have a history of sexually transmitted infections are at risk of hepatitis and should receive the TWINRIX vaccine.
Injections cost approximately $96 per dose and the vaccine is covered by most insurance providers, including Medicaid. Chicago residents may receive financial assistance from the Department of Public Health.
In honor of Hepatitis Awareness Month, PPIL will offer $5 off TWINRIX with a coupon at all 19 of its health centers through the end of May. Coupons can be printed from the PPIL website, www.ppil.org.
For more information, or to make an appointment to begin your hepatitis A and B vaccinations, contact your local PPIL health center or visit www.ppil.org.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) provides affordably priced high-quality reproductive health care services to women and families throughout Illinois. Through health care services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive rights of each individual. For more information, visit www.ppil.org.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois
April 29, 2009