Despite having been one of the countries leading in the global campaign to eliminate viral hepatitis, Australia may now not meet its 2022 national hepatitis C treatment target or the 2030 global target.
Australia still has a long way to go to achieve its National Hepatitis B Strategy targets aimed at eliminating the disease by 2030.
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.
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.
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.Continue reading “Hepatitis B Treatment—not necessarily a life-long commitment”
In these COVID-focused times, it is worth remembering that there are other viruses out there, active in our community. World Hepatitis Day reminds us that over 226,500 Australians – including over 12,000 South Australians – live with the hepatitis B virus, and the hepatitis C virus still affects the health of 114,000 Australians despite the availability of highly effective Medicare-funded treatments.
While South Australia has done well in treating people with chronic hepatitis C, the rate of treatment uptake has been dropping dramatically; and our state’s hepatitis B clinical care uptake is below national average, and well below the National Strategy target.Continue reading “Still Out There – hep C which has a cure & hep B which has a vaccine…”