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.
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.
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.
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).
A Story of Mixed Success
The newly released 2022 annual report from the Burnet and Kirby institutes, Australia’s Progress Towards Hepatitis C Elimination, has a story of mixed success to tell.
Unrestricted access to direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) through public subsidy since March 2016 means there is a real opportunity to reach the official government target of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat in Australia by 2030.