Jul 26
New Treatments a Game Changer on World Hepatitis Day

The hepatitis treatment landscape has changed dramatically in recent months. Effective treatment options are available for hepatitis C and everyone who may be at risk is urged to consider a hepatitis test in the interests of their long-term health.

While there is currently no Hepatitis C vaccine available, there is excellent news with new treatments approved on the PBS in March this year that have a cure rate of more than 90%, a game changer for those that have been living with the virus.

Hepatitis B, Australia’s leading cause of liver cancer and liver transplantation, can be prevented with a vaccine. For those that have the virus, with effective treatment options available, knowing your status could significantly impact upon your future health.

The news is not all good however; as many of those living with the virus do not know they have it. Thankfully, quick and effective blood tests are available and increasingly treatment options can be managed through your local GP in the majority of cases.

Coordinator of the Blood Borne Virus Prevention Program, Trevor Slattery said many people aren’t aware of the risks associated with hepatitis B and C transmission.

“Travel to high prevalence countries without vaccination, unregulated home or overseas tattooing, sharing injecting equipment, and even seemingly benign everyday practices can put you at risk of transmission if blood to blood contact is involved,” Mr Slattery said.

“The best way to be sure is to test, vaccinate for hepatitis B if you haven’t already and treat if appropriate.”

“The great news is that treatments are better than ever and getting easier all the time.”

“Gone are the old days of months of gruelling treatment with no guaranteed results. For hepatitis C in particular it’s a very exciting time to see how quickly and easily it can change a person’s health.”

World Hepatitis Day (July 28), is an excellent opportunity to come together as a community and start a conversation on testing, treating and preventing the spread of hepatitis in our towns.

Consider getting a hepatitis test today.

Media enquiries:Brendan Williams, Media Manager, Western NSW Local Health District via brendan.williams@health.nsw.gov.au