In a rare alignment, Australia's 2021 world hepatitis day campaign is adopting the global theme - Hep Can't Wait. One of the widely seen effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is people putting off seeing their doctors. Unfortunately, for some conditions, there can be dire consequences if you wait. Hepatitis is one of those.
In Australia, hepatitis is a leading cause of liver cancer and liver cancer is the fastest growing cause of cancer deaths. Australia has done well so far in working towards the WHO goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 but treatment and testing rates have dropped in the last year.
One in five people with hepatitis C in Australia don't know they have it and one in three with chronic hepatitis B don't know of their condition. The national and global campaigns this year hope to raise wider community awareness about the importance of diagnosing, treating and preventing hepatitis B and hepatitis C.