Time to talk about hep B

MARIA Tran is determined to break down reluctance in the Vietnamese community to talk about hepatitis B.

The Carramar resident said residents born in Vietnam were 12 times more likely to develop liver cancer from hepatitis B than those born in Australia.

This is why Cancer Council NSW and Information and Cultural Exchange will launch B+ Agents of Change.

As the creative producer, Miss Tran will create a four-episode web series to raise awareness about the virus.

Miss Tran said the disease was taboo due to its negative connotations.

"When people think of the word 'hepatitis' they think of drug users and unprotected sex, so many Vietnamese people don't want to be associated to it," she said.

"The most common route of transmission is actually from mother to child during childbirth."

Each web episode will be five minutes. The series will be premiered in late June.

"Health issues aren't the most glamorous of all community topics and finding a way that is inclusive and engaging was quite difficult," she said.

"Then I realised that Fairfield had a big film culture, home to some of the emerging culturally diverse talents and that the Vietnamese community loved watching TV series."

She is calling on aspiring local Vietnamese film makers, from ages 18 to 29, to join the cast and crew.

Six workshops will run on Sundays from 9am-3pm from March 17 to May 5 at Cabravale Leisure Centre, 30 Broomfield St, Cabramatta.

Details: ice.org.au/bplus or 9897 5744.

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