Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection affects around 3.5 million children worldwide, and in Australia, it’s estimated that it affects at least 4 children per million under 15 years old. Children with chronic hepatitis C infection can suffer from reduced quality of life, social stigmatisation, and inadequate access to specialist care. As with adults, the disease can progress to hepatic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, and hepatocellular cancer.
More Evidence of DAAs’ Power for Elimination
A recent large-scale study confirms that treating chronic hepatitis C patients with direct-acting antivirals (DAA) leads to improved outcomes and better long-term survival.
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10 Ways to Reduce Blood-Borne Viruses in Prisons
Clean needle program tops the list of strategies outlined in a consensus statement released by the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group. The statement aims to provide a clear, concise overview of evidence-based harm reduction interventions needed to reduce injecting-related harms in Australian prisons.
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Eliminating Mother-to-Baby Hep B Transmission?
Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B occurs frequently either in the uterus, through placental leakage, or through exposure to blood or blood-contaminated fluids at or around the time of birth. This form of transmission (sometimes called “vertical transmission”) is believed to account for between a third and a half of hepatitis B infections, and so a way to easily prevent it would do a huge amount to reduce the number of people living with hepatitis B in the long term.
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The Weakest Link
Australian policy makers must act to reduce the spread of blood-borne viruses (BBVs) in prisons or we won’t be able to achieve critical public health goals like eliminating hepatitis C. This was the call in a consensus statement released by the Harm Reduction in Prisons Working Group.
Bringing Testing to Community
Moorundi Aboriginal Controlled Health Service will soon be offering hepatitis C point of care testing (POCT) to the community, along with its new Clean Needle Program (CNP) at the service’s Murray Bridge site. The initiative is part of a push to bring hepatitis rapid testing to regional South Australia, under the umbrella of the world-first National Australia HCV Point of Care Testing Program (HCVPOCT).