World Hepatitis Day 2019 calls for all primary care providers to be proactive in their vital role in Viral Hepatitis elimination in Australia.
With effective viral hepatitis treatments available to help manage hepatitis B and cure hepatitis C, Australia is leading the way to a future without viral hepatitis. However, an estimated 233,947 Australians are living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and 182,144 with chronic hepatitis C (CHC), at risk of preventable deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Without finding those who are undiagnosed and linking them to care many lives will continue to be lost.
It is fitting that the 2019 theme for World Hepatitis Day is Find the Missing Millions .
As a primary care provider, you play a critical role in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can significantly improve outcomes for those living with viral hepatitis.
World Hepatitis Day 2019
World Hepatitis Day 2019 is on Sunday 28th July 2019, with the aim of raising awareness around viral hepatitis and the impact it has worldwide. The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2019 is “Find the Missing Millions ”, with a focus on finding people living with hepatitis who are undiagnosed and linking them to care.
All primary care providers have a significant role to play in the testing, diagnosis and management of chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
Currently, it is estimated that 63.7% of those living with CHB in Australia have been diagnosed. This means around 37% with chronic hepatitis B are still undiagnosed. Treatment uptake of those diagnosed is estimated at 8.3%, with 20% estimated to need treatment.
Timely diagnosis and clinical management, including antiviral therapy, can prevent CHB-related deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer.
How primary care providers can make a difference in the fight to eliminate hepatitis B
B Positive – All you wanted to know about hepatitis B, a guide for primary care providers
Decision-Making in HBV
Hepatitis B and Primary Care
Hepatitis B: Your crucial Role as a Primary Health Care Nurse
Hepatitis B and Immigration
If you would like further information on how to become an accredited HBV s100 prescriber in your state or territory, email: HBVPrescriber@ashm.org.au
Hepatitis C can be cured with Direct Acting Antiviral (DAA) medications available on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). GPs can prescribe these regimens under the S85 General Schedule.
Everyone living with chronic HCV infection should be considered for antiviral treatment. It is well tolerated, short duration and orally administered.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the most commonly notified diseases in Australia, with 0.94% of the population living with chronic HCV. There is an estimated 180,000 people currently living with chronic hepatitis C in Australia with 58,280 people (26%) treated in the period March 2016 to March 2018. Of those affected, it is estimated that approximately 19% have not yet been diagnosed.
Curing hepatitis C substantially reduces the risk of liver cancer and liver failure, reducing mortality from cirrhosis and liver cancer. It can also improve quality of life, including physical, emotional, and social health.
How primary care providers can make a difference
Decision-making in HCV
HCV Treatments Quick Reference Tool
Primary Care Providers and Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C: Your Crucial Role as a Primary Health Care Nurse