AIVL Applauds Greens’ New Drug Policy

The national organisation representing people who use drugs, AIVL has applauded the Australian Greens’ courageous leadership in adopting an evidence-based drug policy that focuses on saving lives.

The Australian Greens holistic policy on Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addition encompasses not just illicit drugs but also tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. The policy, in a nutshell, adopts a harm-minimisation approach that addresses addiction as a health issue with treatments covered by Medicare.

There are 14 principles on issues including harm minimisation, evidence-base approach, alcohol, tobacco, access to services, education and Aboriginal control of responses to the drug use issues in their communities.

Continue reading “AIVL Applauds Greens’ New Drug Policy”

Saliva, Cricket and Viral Diseases – Hysteria Resurfaces

Misinformation has reared its ugly head again as South Australians waded into the debate over the Du Plessis ball tampering drama.

The South African cricket captain’s controversial habit of polishing the ball with his saliva earned him a fine, and raised a storm of letters to The Advertiser. Among them was one titled “Dirty Saliva”, from Robert McRitchie, which proclaimed dramatically, and wrongly, that “SALIVA is a perfect medium for transmission of infectious viral diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C, just to name two.”

Continue reading “Saliva, Cricket and Viral Diseases – Hysteria Resurfaces”

Stigma, Treatment, Policy – Pick your topic at Hep SA’s library

In this information age it is ironic that credible, reliable information can sometimes be hard to find in the tsunami of results from online searches.

Separating the reliable, evidence-based information from the “alternative” facts can be challenging.

The good news is, if you’re looking for hepatitis-related information in Australia, there’s just one place online you need to visit.

Continue reading “Stigma, Treatment, Policy – Pick your topic at Hep SA’s library”

Quite Little, Very Late – Govt response to Silent Disease Report

The Federal Government’s response to the ‘Silent Disease’ inquiry into hepatitis C in Australia falls well short of what anyone living with hepatitis C could have hoped. Coming nearly 18 months after the report was submitted, the response fully accepted only three out of ten of the recommendations.

The Silent Disease Report was a comprehensive study from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, and can be read online here. It made 10 main recommendations about the way the Australian Government should respond to the ongoing epidemic.

Continue reading “Quite Little, Very Late – Govt response to Silent Disease Report”

Helping People Adhere to Treatment Helps Treatment Succeed

The development of direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatments has revolutionised the treatment of hepatitis C in Australia. DAAs are effective and, when patients follow the medication regime, can cure more than 90% of those who take the treatment. But at the moment there are limited resources to inform and guide health professionals as they try to provide adherence support to those undergoing DAA treatment.

Medication adherence refers to the way an individual takes a medication, including the use of the correct medication, the correct dose and time, duration and timely refilling of repeat prescriptions.

Continue reading “Helping People Adhere to Treatment Helps Treatment Succeed”

Treating Children with HBV – Predictors of Success

A unique longitudinal real life study on entecavir-treated children and adolescents have found that HBV DNA results at six and twelve months after starting treatment, are predictors of viral suppression. Another predictor of success is an age of infection at 10 years or older.

The study results, based on data collected from 44 patients, support entecavir as a safe and effective treatment for adolescents with chronic hepatitis B.

Believed to be the first long-term study on hepatitis B treatment for children and adolescents, the research also found that duration of entecavir therapy was an important factor in achieving successful outcomes. On average, the odds of undetectable hepatitis B DNA increases by about five per cent with each additional month of therapy.

Continue reading “Treating Children with HBV – Predictors of Success”