There are 239,000 Australians are thought to be living with chronic hepatitis B.
This cascade of care for chronic hepatitis B shows that 203,000 people (85%) living with CHB are not engaged in care, defined as either receiving annual HBV DNA viral load testing or receiving antiviral treatment1
There are four phases of CHB. The host immune response in each phase determines the outcome of infection and the severity of liver injury. Liver damage is caused by the host immune response rather than the hepatitis B virus (HBV) itself.
Determining the phase of virus infection is essential to the clinical assessment of the patient with HBV. HBV DNA, liver function testing and fibrosis assessment (non-invasive liver imaging with or without biopsy) are all key components of this assessment.
Not all people with CHB need treatment, but they all require regular (six to 12 months) monitoring.
People in the immune clearance and immune-escape phase of infection should be considered for antiviral therapy. All patients with cirrhosis are candidates for treatment.
First-line treatment options for most patients are oral antiviral therapy: one tablet, once a day. Once started, treatment is long-term.
The National Hepatitis B Strategy 2014-17 sets a target to increase the proportion of people living with chronic hepatitis B who are receiving antiviral treatment to 15% by 2017.
The hepatitis B prescriber program serves to educate and train general practitioners to prescribe Highly Specialised Drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. This program is available in all states and territories across Australia..
ASHM is striving to increase the capacity and confidence of primary care practitioners in diagnosing and caring for patients with hepatitis B. We administer the Hepatitis B S100 Community Prescriber Program.
ASHM develops a range of resources in hepatitis B management. These include the B Positive website and manual; decision-making tools; testing guidelines; and continuing professional development opportunities.
Many resources can be downloaded from our resources page.
Click here to view a list of ASHM-trained hepatitis B s100 Prescribers (effective 06 April 2017)