Hep Can’t What?

In a rare alignment, the Australian 2021 World Hepatitis Day campaign is adopting the message of the global campaign. This year, both global and national campaigns are telling you: hepatitis can’t wait.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a common outcome in one aspect of healthcare – people with minor or chronic illnesses putting off seeing their healthcare providers. Unfortunately, for some conditions, there can be dire consequences if you wait. Hepatitis is one of those.

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Testing… Testing — New HCV testing technologies

Hepatitis C tests are getting easier. That’s the promise on the horizon as new testing methods are introduced or trialed.

Current conventional hepatitis C testing consists of a blood test for hepatitis C antibodies, followed by a PCR test for the hepatitis C RNA, if antibody test comes back positive. There is the usual waiting period of a week or more after each test. For busy people or transient populations, that poses a challenge. Others are put off by the need to draw blood.

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Hepatitis B Treatment—not necessarily a life-long commitment

There is a common view that once you start hepatitis B treatment, you will be on it for life. This is changing. In recent years, numerous studies have been done looking into the notion of functional cure for hepatitis B which, when achieved, means therapy can be stopped.

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LiverWELL’s Aboriginal Healthy Living Guide: Helping you care for your liver and your mob

Caring for country and for collective wellbeing is something our First Nations have done for over 65,000 years. Building on that strength, and informed by community and artists, Hepatitis Victoria’s LiverWELL program have launched a customised guide that offers Indigenous Australians multiple tips and current links to support healthy living.

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COVID Etiquette

We all learn how to behave socially, and the rules vary based on our cultural backgrounds. We may shake hands, high-five, hug or air-kiss when greeting others.  In some cultures, you never chew with your mouth open, while in others nobody really care. For some, it’s fine to toss money to the person you’re paying; for others that is extremely offensive.

In the current COVID situation, until there are effective vaccines or treatments, the only effective safeguard we have is being careful in how we interact with others: how we greet each other, how we behave in groups, how we project expectations of others’ behaviour, and how we react to unexpected situations.

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When treatment, and everything else, goes wrong: David’s story

I have been reading the Hepatitis SA Community News for a long time, perhaps since its inception! I have always been interested to read other people’s stories of living with hep C. The time has come for me to tell my tale.

I have been living with the hep C virus for over 30 years, contracting it some time in the mid-to-late ‘80s. In my late teens and early twenties I discovered that injecting various drugs was a wonderful form of escape. My need to obliterate myself during this period was the result of having been sexually abused in my early teens by the leader of a NSW Church of England Boys Society group.

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