To read about ASHM’s Regional Scholarship Program during the International HIV Coinfection + Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference and the International AIDS Society 2023 Conference, click here.
The Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project: National Report 2021, Hepatitis B (published 2023) contains estimates of chronic hepatitis B prevalence, treatment and management at a state and territory, Primary Health Network (PHN), and Statistical Area 3 level. This report also includes data regarding liver cancer incidence and screening uptake.
This new report demonstrates the impact of the work being done across the sector and community, progressing towards the National Hepatitis B Strategy Targets set for 2018-2022.
The report identifies priority areas for improving access to testing, treatment and care and highlights areas that are excelling at progressing towards the targets. John Didlick, Policy Analyst at Hepatitis Australia says “The mapping report provides important granularity to our understanding of hepatitis B in Australia, allowing us to identify gaps in progress and areas where more investment is needed.”
Also new in this report is:
- Updated national and state/territory estimates of hepatitis B prevalence, based on revised modelling.
- Updated localised estimates of hepatitis B prevalence, based on new information from the 2021 Census and national and international prevalence data.
- Further detail on cultural and linguistic diversity among people living with hepatitis B by PHN.
- Updated projections assessing which PHNs are on track to meet strategic targets, including updated migration projections.
- Further assessment of trends in testing, diagnosis, care and treatment through 2021, reflecting the continued impact of COVID-19.
Key figures in this report include the revised estimate of 200,385 people living with hepatitis B in Australia. Of these only 73% have been diagnosed.
Prevalence data has been comprehensively updated for this report to ensure an accurate reflection of current epidemiology and trends. This included updates to the source model used to generate the national and state/territory estimates of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) prevalence, as well as the methods used to estimate CHB prevalence at the PHN and SA3 level. These methods include changes to historic CHB prevalence estimates by country of birth based on newly available data and re-assessment of available historic sources. Other considerations include:
- The inclusion of region-specific data regarding age distribution of migrants into prevalence estimation.
- Incorporation of recent local evidence demonstrating lower CHB prevalence in Australian-born people who live in rural regions relative to those living in urban regions
- Revision of the CHB prevalence used for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in Queensland to align with local clinical evidence.
The report shows that concerningly only 26% of people living with hepatitis B are receiving care (either treatment or monitoring), significantly under the National Strategy target of 50%.
Positively, GPs are now the most common providers of monitoring (viral load tests), making up 43.4% of the total providers. However only 22.2% of people who received treatment had a GP involved in their care, a decline from previously.
PHNs with below-average GP prescribing were more likely to be located in the major cities of Melbourne and Sydney, reflecting findings at the state level of the correlation between GP prescribing and remoteness of residence for people with CHB.
This information can be used across the sector, Alexis Apostolellis, CEO, ASHM reflected, “The Viral Hepatitis Mapping Report is vital to the ongoing decision-making across the sector regarding policy, research, clinical and education work being undertaken. It is a tool that can be used by a range of professionals to build a case and identify areas of need as well as reflect on the impacts of work that has been done over time.”.
Specific or future data requests to assist with your work are welcomed and should be sent to Jennifer MacLachlan at Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project: National Report 2021, Hepatitis C will be published separately. You can view this most recent hepatitis C data in the Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project: National Report 2020 here.
The Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project is a joint initiative of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology, The Doherty Institute and ASHM. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and generated using data from national communicable disease surveillance along with records available from Medicare Australia and the Australian Cancer Atlas.
Access the reports here and explore the data on the online portal here.