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About Hepatitis SA

Hepatitis SA is the leading hepatitis organisation in South Australia. We work in partnership with other agencies in SA and interstate to promote awareness about viral hepatitis. More information about Hepatitis SA.

Media Releases

Media releases can be viewed in our official documents section.

About Viral Hepatitis

Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. There are five different hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. While they all cause short-term (acute) infection, viruses B, C and D can also result in long-term (chronic) infection. Chronic hepatitis can lead to serious liver disease including cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.

Hepatitis B

An estimated 240 million people world wide live with chronic hepatitis B. About 780,000 die each year from hepatitis B related illness - 650,000 from cirrhosis and liver cancer due to hepatitis B, and 130,000 from acute hepatitis B. About 218,000 to 225,000 Australians live with chronic hepatitis B. In South Australia, it is estimated at 14,400. There is a safe, effective vaccine for hepatitis B. More about hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Globally about 130 to 150 million people live with chronic hepatitis C. 350,000 to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C related illness. About 233,000 people in Australia live with hepatitis C. In South Australia an estimated 10,700 people have chronic hepatitis C. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C but effective antiviral treatments exist. More about hepatitis C.

Tips on terminology

Below is a list of preferred terminology when discussing hepatitis in Australia. It is reproduced courtesy of Hepatitis Australia.

Unfavoured Terminology Preferred Terminology

Hepatitis victim, hepatitis sufferer
This implies a person with hepatitis C is powerless, and has little control over their condition

Person/people with hepatitis

These terms are stigmatising, as they imply a stereotypical image of someone who injects drugs.

Use of these terms further marginalises people who are often disadvantaged.

People who inject drugs

Innocent victims
This term is sometimes used to describe people with medically acquired chronic hepatitis infection, or children who have acquired chronic hepatitis transmitted from their positive mother during pregnancy or at birth.

By extension, it incorrectly implies that people infected in other ways are "guilty".

Person/people with chronic hepatitis, people with medically acquired chronic hepatitis, children with chronic hepatitis

This term is stigmatising and offensive to many people living with chronic hepatitis, as it portrays them as a public health threat, rather than as a person affected by chronic illness.

Person/people with chronic hepatitis

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