Following the sector round table convened by ASHM and Hepatitis Australia to discuss opportunities and challenges to improving hepatitis C diagnostic strategies, a summary report is now available and a working group is being established to progress key policy objectives for the implementation of sustainable hepatitis C point of care and dried blood spot testing strategies, and optimising laboratory-based testing. Read more to get involved.
Increasing hepatitis C testing uptake in Australia is hampered by current diagnostic pathways requiring multiple visits to health professionals and frequent loss to follow-up, amplified in key target populations, such as people who inject drugs and people in prison. Key themes emerged from the 2-day meeting with over 125 attendees contributing to the discussion. Progress in the following areas were identified as priorities for action to improve hepatitis C testing and linkage to care:
- Availability and access to a range of strategies and technologies
- Reflex RNA testing
- Sustainable funding models
- Updated evidence based guidelines, frameworks and infrastructure
Read the full report here.
To progress the policy and advocacy response to improve access to hepatitis C diagnostic testing in Australia, an advocacy working group is being established which will be guided by a national reference group. ASHM is seeking expressions of interest from individuals and organisations interested in joining the national reference group. If you are interested in being involved, please contact HepatitisC@ashm.org.au