Three-time Grammy winner Jon Secada wishes his father Jose hadn't kept his Hepatitis C diagnosis a secret.
The Cuban-American sing-songwriter's father died last year from complications related to the virus and failed to get the help he needed in time. Hispanics make up an estimated one third of the 3.2 million Americans who suffer from Hep C, which can remain in the body for years and severely damage the liver. Yet there has long been a stigma around the illness, because it can be contracted through needle exchange and sex.
Secada will lend his voice Thursday to a campaign to raise awareness among Hispanics about the disease. The American Liver Foundation and the pharmaceutical company Merck — known as MSD in Latin America — are sponsoring the campaign.