The World Hepatitis Day flash mob was a success!
Last week, seeking to spread the word about hepatitis C - most people don't know that they are infected, and more Americans die every year from this virus than from HIV - my colleagues and I proposed a dancing flash mob in Philadelphia's LOVE Park.
We had perfect weather on Friday and roughly 50 people came out to dance for a sizable impromptu audience. (If you don't see the video above, click here.) At the conclusion of the dancing many of us spent time mingling in the crowd, handing out educational materials and discussing the importance of hepatitis C as well as the purpose of our flash mob (just in case anyone mistook O'liver, our mascot, for the character from the Kool-Aid commercials).
For some onlookers this may have just served as a brief reprieve from the grind of the work day. Hopefully, though, our quirky, non-traditional demonstration made a statement - and, for a few moments, made them take note of hepatitis C as an issue that deserves some attention.
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Stacey Trooskin, M.D. Ph.D., is in clinical practice, specializing in infectious diseases, HIV, and hepatitis C. She is the community co-chair of HepCAP and conducts research that focuses on the epidemiology of hepatitis C and identifying and overcoming barriers to testing and treatment.
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