Psoriasis patients march in Tel Aviv to stress that it is not infectious

There are 240,000 people of all ages with the condition, some more serious than others.

December 23, 2014 16:28
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv

The Israel Psoriasis Association hold a march in Tel Aviv, December 22. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Israel Psoriasis Association held a march on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard this week with the theme: “Psoriasis Is Not Catching,” in order to educate the public about the skin disease.

The chronic, immune-mediated disorder – named for the Greek phrase for “itching condition” – affects 2-4% of the population and is characterized by skin lesions including red, scaly patches.

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The association called on the Health Ministry, National Insurance Institute, the Knesset and the public to treat psoriasis patients with more consideration. There are 240,000 people of all ages in Israel with the condition, some more serious than others. The marchers on Monday held yellow balloons and signs in Hebrew and English.

“We have learned to live with the disease but not with prejudices about it,” said Yona Mentke, chairman of the association. “It was thought a decade ago that there are 120,000 sufferers, but in fact the figure is double that today. Because of the shame, many don’t seek out support or even medical treatment. I call on patients to join the association so we can be stronger.”

Psoriasis is not infectious and there is no reason to avoid socializing or studying with or hiring people with the disease, said Mentke.

“One need not fear eating from the same plate or drinking from the same cup or touching things they have touched,” she said. “Of course one can hug, kiss or have intimate relations with patients.”

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