• 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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  • I Love Not Being Infectious

    (A report back on Dr Jacqui Richmond's presentation at Viral Hepatitis Nurse-led Models of Care Forum)

    Great contrasting placement of Jacqui’s presentation after Leith Morris discussed the reasons why people don’t seek treatment. Jacqui’s research into how it feels to be cured revealed 3 main themes: the psychological impact (a profound sense of well-being more than physical health); feeling normal; and the relief of not being able to transmit the virus.  
    You can read more about the results here https://rdcu.be/32oG. If you are looking at how to design messaging for a hep C treatment campaign all of the presentations in this stream “responding to challenges in hepatitis C care and treatment” are well worth looking at. 

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  • A Report Back on "HealthELink, Online Model of HCV Treatment Within South Australian Prisons"

    (A report back on Dr Edmund Tse's presentation - HealthELink, Online Model of HCV Treatment Within South Australian Prisons - Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference Day 2)

    Absolutely brilliant Dr Tse, what an amazing vehicle you have developed especially designed for the less frequent and less confident prescribers of hepatitis C medicines!   This online platform was designed specifically for use by SA prison doctors and can be embedded into GP medical records software.

     

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  • 1605: Who and What Is Missing from the Hepatitis C Treatment Cascade of Care?

    (A report back from presentation by Dr Sione Crawford, CEO, Harm Reduction Victoria, Australia)

    “Cascade of Care” has been an often repeated phrase in the last few days.   It is a useful concept which describes the steps across the continuity of care in the treatment of chronic hepatitis C (CHC), and estimates the number of people with chronic hepatitis C engaging in each successive step.  Typically, the steps in a CHC cascade are: people with CHC, people diagnosed with CHC, people undergoing treatment, people who have achieved a cure.   We have been extremely encouraged to see a dramatic increase in the numbers of people in treatment since the advent of directly acting antivirals in Australia in March 2016. 

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  • Simplifying Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatitis B & C – Now and into the Future (Science & Clinical Care Theme)

    This session was presented by several speakers with the aim of familiarising attendees with the key challenges to simplifying testing and treatment for HCV and HBV. 

    Presented by:  Tanya Applegate, Jane Davies, Amanda Wade, David Anderson 

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  • Global to Local: Finding the Missing Millions to Whole-Person Health

    (A report back on the presentation of Dr Michael Ninburg - Global to Local. Finding the Missing Millions to Whole-Person Health)

     

    This presentation by Michael Ninburg, the President of the World Hepatitis Alliance, was a fascinating overview of the rise of viral hepatitis to the international stage, and a reminder that all solutions for population wide scale-up of hepatitis B and C treatments must be patient-led and locally driven. 

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  • No One Left Behind? the Role of Social Policy in Viral Hepatitis

    (A report back from Dr Kylie Valentine - No one left behind? The role of social policy in viral hepatitis - the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference)

    Kylie had a fascinating talk outlining the role of social policy in viral hepatitis. She determines social policy as society’s responses to “big picture” questions of how best to distribute resources through taxation, income support, programs and services. Social policies outline what a society regards as important and fixable problems, what those problems are and thought to be, and what is not a priority. Social policy research tells us about how different groups of people are affected by these choices and priorities, and how policies and policy domains interact.

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  • Leave Judgement at the Door

    (A report back from lived experience speakers)

    The rapid developments in Hepatitis C management since direct acting antiviral therapy became available on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme in March 2016 has been nothing short of amazing. Now with the advent of pan genotypic regimes and comparative treatment success regardless of the presence of cirrhosis, Australia is a privileged and unique position to ensure no one is left behind in its pursuit of Hepatitis C eradication by 2030. Despite this, achieving this target remains ambitious given the stigma associated with a Hepatitis C diagnosis.

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  • Testing, Treating and Cancer Screening

    A report back from Dr Sunil Solomon - Elimination of hepatitis C in people who inject drugs in low and middle income countries: The Final Frontier; Dr Joseph Doyle - Australian Hepatitis Elimination Scorecard: Progress since the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Elimination Conference - The Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference Opening Plenary 

     

    As a GP based in Lakes Entrance I provide care to rural and remote areas. Chronic disease management is a major part of the day-to-day work this involves.  Attending the 11th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference produced many lightbulb moments – most notably that some of these diseases are treatable and even curable, as in the case of Hepatitis C.  The two main challenges remain engaging those we know have Viral Hepatitis in treatment and finding those who do not yet know they have Viral Hepatitis. The awareness of chronic infection is relevant both for the new phase of safe and effective cures available for Hepatitis C, and the risks of ignorance of chronic Hepatitis B infection. 

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