The theme of “No one left behind” has been a real thread through many of the presentations. Now that Hep C DAAs are pangenotypic and most of the high risk patients with cirrhosis have already been cured, it is up to those of us who work in primary care, drug and alcohol and STI services to step up to test and treat the remaining Hep C positive population and see if Australia really can be the first country to achieve No Hep by 2030 (maybe 2025?)
The delightful Kombi Clinic “ boys” gave us all lots of food for thought around fun and engaging ways to get testing and treatment out to the most difficult to reach customers.
Gail Matthews gave a fascinating presentation challenging the accepted management of Hepatitis B. She questioned whether the high viral load of the immune tolerance phase is truly benign and also presented data from the HBV STOP study explaining that the immune flare after ceasing Hepatitis B anti virals may actually have a therapeutic benefit. The majority of subjects (78%) maintained HBV DNA <2000 at week 48.
Still on the subject of Hepatitis B, Suresh Sharma presented a fabulous resource the “B- Side” Project presenting Hep B community education in an attractive and easily understood resource which has already been translated into a number of local languages and has the potential to be rolled out to many Indigenous and CALD groups.
After completing GP training in 1996, Heather worked at “Youthlink” a service for at risk young people, Family Planning and became an HIV prescriber in 2007. Been prescribing Hep C treatments for over 10 years. Currently working as Medical Director at Cairns Doctors a private sexual and reproductive health service and VMO at Cairns Sexual Health Service.