Today is World Hepatitis Day, with Hepatitis Australia asking Australians to get behind the #LetsTalkHep campaign and start conversations about hepatitis.
This is especially relevant during COVID-19 as viral hepatitis, which can lead to liver cancer and directly impacts nearly 360,000 people in Australia, is also a pandemic.
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are the most common blood borne viruses in the world, including here in Australia.
Despite some good progress Australia needs to ramp up its responses to hepatitis B and hepatitis C to meet its hepatitis elimination goals.
Carrie Fowlie, Chief Executive Officer at Hepatitis Australia says: “We commend Australian governments for their commitment to the global elimination of hepatitis B and C by 2030 and, as Australia’s national hepatitis organisation, we are to help governments and communities to achieve that goal.
“We need to keep the hepatitis B and C conversations alive this will challenge stigma and address gaps in our national response.”
“For hepatitis B we need to increase the proportion of people living with hepatitis B who have been diagnosed, and regular and timely access to care, and for hepatitis C we need to expand access to testing and cures in primary care.”
Data in the Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project: National Report 2018-19, to be launched on Friday, shows that Australia is no longer on track to meet the nationally agreed targets outlined in the National Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Strategies 2018- 2022, which were endorsed by federal, state and territory governments.
Ms Fowlie says that government’s national hepatitis strategies implementation funding commitments can help get timelines back on track.
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