Thousands of South Australians are missing out on life-saving treatment that can stop serious liver disease, simply because they don’t know about new treatments or are too afraid to ask.
Taking every dose of your direct-acting antiviral gives you the best chance of a cure. Because many of these drugs are new, it’s not yet clear how missed doses may affect the success of your treatment, so it’s better to be safe than sorry and try not to miss any dose.
Remembering every dose can be difficult even when motivation is high and the treatment course short, as is the case for most people on the new hepatitis C medicines. The information that came with your drug should advise you on what to do if you do miss a dose and whether you should take it later or skip it.
The need for support and information about hepatitis C brought together a small band of people in Adelaide some 20 years ago. That small group from the 90s grew to become today’s Hepatitis SA.
Providing support to people dealing with chronic hepatitis remains at the heart Hepatitis SA’s services. The close mutual support of the early days has developed into formal, on-going support groups, telephone support and face to face information sessions.
As part of World Hepatitis Day, people all over the world were encouraged to investigate the new treatments now available for hepatitis C. These treatments are more effective, faster, easier to take and with much smaller side-effects than the treatments which were used up until early 2016.
However, all the excitement about the new treatments has obscured one thing: just how much hardship people had to go through before this year to treat their hepatitis C—hardship that quite frequently didn’t even end up in the virus being cleared.