• Fantastic First Ever Australian Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum held in Adelaide 2018

    It is now nearly three months since the first national 'Treating Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum' was held in Adelaide. I was lucky enough to be a member of the organising committee which included GPs from across Australia. 

     On reflection, highlights from the day-long event included: 

    • Having 50 GPs from across Australia in a room, with a mix of experience from novice to experienced HCV prescriber, to share information and experiences. It was great having a few HCV specialists in the room providing the latest information and evidence. The feedback from the day was so positive that we are hoping it will become an annual event.  

    • The important role GPs can play in the whole person viral hepatitis disease management, from detecting the 30-40,000 people living with chronic HCV not yet diagnosed, to one stop shop GP HCV assessment and DAA treatment for most, and the important long term role monitoring of those with cirrhosis. 

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  • Applying the 8 Ways to Increase Hepatitis C Treatment in my Practice

    I am a general practice registrar in Launceston, Tasmania. Attending the Treating Hepatitis C in General Practice Forum was a great educational experience for me. I was able to appreciate the practical intricacies of treating Hepatitis C in the community, and learn from passionate general practitioners from various parts of Australia about treating Hepatitis C.  

    I learnt the most from Dr Nada Andric’s presentation about the 8 ways to increase HCV treatment in general practice. She illustrated the 8 steps to take, including audit, training, bloods, GPMP, connect, pharmacy and follow up. They were practical methods and easily translated to my practice in Launceston. Since attending the Forum I have prepared a plan according to the 8 steps: 

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  • Effectiveness and Acceptance of an Intensive Hepatitis C Screening and Case Finding in a Public OTP Clinic

    (A report back on Janice Pritchard-Jones's presentation - Nurses role when the Hepatitis C is cured but the Cirrhosis remains)

    This topic was discussed by Janice Prichard-Jones in the 11th Viral Hepatitis Australasian Conference held in Adelaide.  

    Hepatitis C is a major public health concern that needs to be made known to the community and those suffering need to know that it is a curable disease. It is the duty of the local health organisation whether it be a medical centre or a hospital to actively screen patients and do case findings for hepatitis C as a vast majority of infected people are unaware they have it. 

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  • A Recap: Hep B in Corrections - The Top End of the NT

    My name is David Young, I am a GP in rural NSW and having completed an Hep B s100 prescribers course last year I was invited to attend the 2018 Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference in Adelaide. 

    This blog is about the presentation by Dr Jane Davies on the topic of Hep B in Corrections: the Top End of the NT.

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  • Report Back from the 11th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference Day 3 - Wednesday 15 Aug 2018

    The theme of the conference was “No one left behind “and on Wednesday there were several presentations about how to identify and reach, high prevalence and under tested groups. Jeyamani Ramachandran talked about the under testing of psychiatric in-patients even though they are a high-risk group. Often, they have co-existing drug and alcohol issues which place them at risk from unsafe injecting and unsafe sex particularly when they are most unwell. They are often isolated, aboriginal and have prison experience.  Although they are mentally unwell in hospital it is a time to test and initiate discussion about the need for treatment for blood borne viruses. In the sample tested 57% were hepatitis C RNA positive. 

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  • Day 2 Highlights – the 11th Viral Hepatitis Conference Australia

    (A report back from morning sessions on Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference Day 2)

    What an inspiring conference the 11th viral Hepatitis Australasian Conference has been. A quick recap of the highlights of Day 2 of the conference. 

     

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  • A Recap: Community and Social Research Theme on Specialised Work with Identified Communities

    And so to the third day and the final session in the community and social research theme on specialised work with identified communities. 

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  • Key Points from Day 2 – Point of Care Testing, Hepatitis in Prisons, Indigenous and Immigrant Populations

    (A report back on the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference Day 2)

    Globally there is a move to developing point of care testing (POCT), with the aim to test and treat on the same day. New developments include an instant Hep B e-ag and ALT semi quantitive disposable diagnostic device, the combination of these positive results having an 80% correlation with more thorough investigations with hep B Viral Load, fibroscan and full bloods. Local TGA restrictions prevent the use of POCT currently.

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  • A Thoughtful and Collaborative Approach to Hepatitis B is Essential When Working in Remote Aboriginal Communities

    (A report back from presentation of Dr Paula Binks)

    I had the privilege of attending this session at the 11th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference. Paula presented not only herself but introduced her community collaborators who were instrumental in the delivery of this project. This project was in response to a community identified need for education for HBV patients in their outreach liver clinic and in response to this Paul and her team initially developed a Hepatitis B story app in both English and Yolngu Matha the local Indigenous language. 

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  • What Can We Learn from Hep C Engaged GPs?

    (A report on the end of day discussion panel featuring Dr Sam Elliott, Dr Annie Balcomb, Dr Joss O’Loan, Dr Belinda Greenwood-Smith, Dr Heather McNamee, and Dr Zak Baig)

    Takeaway lessons from the end of day discussion panel: 

    • It is a minimum requirement for GPs to screen for hepatitis C correctly, diagnose and then refer or treat if required. We cannot have GPs carrying the workload on their own; it is up to GPs whether they want to upskill and treat patients with hepatitis C. However they cannot choose not to screen and diagnose. Screening and diagnosis of Hep C will be the main work of GPs in the future. 

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