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Hepatitis Foundation International: New Study Supports Effectiveness of Liver Wellness Education

SILVER SPRING, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 1, 2007 - A new scientific study provides an imaginative educational intervention that has demonstrated success in having a significant impact on preventing viral hepatitis and other blood borne diseases related to participation in unhealthy behaviors. Results of a National Institute on Drug Abuse supported multi-site, randomized-control trial called, The Study to Reduce Intravenous Exposures (STRIVE), tested a behavioral intervention among a high-risk population of hepatitis C-infected injection drug users (IDUs) to identify new approaches to prevention of hepatitis and other blood borne pathogens. The intervention included messages about liver wellness and viewing the Hepatitis Foundation International's (HFI) video, The Silent Stalker.

The goal of the STRIVE study was to reduce the spread of hepatitis and HIV by providing information about the importance of the liver and how viruses can damage this vital organ essential to one's life.

The results of the study among 630 HCV IDUs indicated a 1.85 fold reduction in lending behaviors; and 2.1 fold reduction in the risk of injecting with used needles. At three months, those exposed to the intervention were 3 times more likely to have stopped injection drug use; at 6 months, they were 2 times more likely to have stopped injecting drugs.

The researchers concluded that these findings indicate an urgent need for HCV-related prevention interventions with IDUs and demonstrated the effectiveness of educating individuals about their liver and taking responsibility for their own healthcare.

"These encouraging results support efforts to provide liver wellness information to all individuals, young and old alike, to help them avoid the serious consequences of participating in liver damaging behaviors," said Thelma King Thiel, CEO of HFI.

HFI's video used in the study and others promoting liver health and prevention of substance abuse are being used in schools, colleges, STD and substance abuse clinics, health departments, correction facilities and HIV/AIDS organizations. They are available in several languages targeting various age groups and ethnicities.

HFI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the eradication of viral hepatitis, a disease affecting over 500 million people worldwide. HFI conducts training programs promoting liver wellness as a means to motivate healthy lifestyle behaviors.

For more information about the study, HFI's video The Silent Stalker and Foundation for Decision Making training programs for counselors, social workers, and educators, call HFI's Education Department at 1-800-891-0707.


Thelma Thiel, 301-622-4200

Posted: March 2007