Achieving hepatitis elimination by 2030

14/07/2020


World Hepatitis Day is acknowledged every year on 28 July, the day highlights awareness of Hepatitis and how with recent advancements in treatment, hep C can now be cured through quick and effective treatment.

Hepatitis B and C are blood borne viruses that damage your liver and can lead to liver cancer and other liver disorders. Hep C is slow acting and can cause severe scarring and damage to the liver that creates long-term health problems. You could have hep C for several years without knowing it because symptoms can take years to appear. Discover more about the signs and symptoms of hep C at hep.org.au/hep-c/what-is-hep-c.

"On World Hepatitis Day by talking to our friends, family or a doctor we can work towards achieving the goal of hepatitis elimination by 2030." – Hepatitis Australia

The most common way of transmitting hep C is by sharing injecting equipment or other situations where there is blood-to-blood contact. Therefore, people who share equipment to inject recreational or performance-enhancing drugs are vulnerable to getting the virus.

There are a few vital steps the community can take towards eliminating the disease, they are:

  • Using prevention methods to limit the risk of transmission
  • Getting tested
  • Getting the cure
For information about hep C and the impact of COVID-19 read the COVID-19 and hep C FAQ on the Hepatitis NSW website.

Preventing infection

Hep C can survive outside the body from around 12 hours to a few weeks, usually no more than four days. If you’re sharing or using injecting equipment such as needles and syringes, swabs, spoons, tourniquets, water and filters, you are at greater risk of getting and transmitting the virus.

Using sterile injecting equipment is the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. Sterile injecting equipment is available through Needle and Syringe Programs (NSPs) across NSW. Use the interactive map to find an NSP Outlet near you.


Get tested

If you have ever injected recreational or performance-enhancing drugs, you should speak to your doctor about getting a hep C test. Visit your GP or request the Dried Blood Spot (DBS) home test kit online. The DBS test is free and private, it involves taking a few blood drops from your finger and mailing the test back to the DBS team with a pre-addressed reply-paid envelope.

To find out more about the DBS test, visit dbstest.health.nsw.gov.au. You will be asked some questions and, if DBS testing is suitable for you, you can register online to receive a testing kit.

Get the cure

Modern oral pill treatments are are proving to be more effective than ever, with a reported cure rate of 95 per cent and less side effects than old interferon-based treatments. The treatment can be prescribed by any GP and can cure the virus within eight to 12 weeks.

For further information on Hep C prevention, how to get tested and access treatment visit worldhepatitisday.org.au, hep.org.au or call the Hepatitis Infoline for confidential information, support and referrals in NSW on 1800 803 990.

For free and confidential advice 24/7 call Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) on 1800 250 015. Counsellors are available to provide counselling, information, referrals, and support. Or start a Web Chat with an ADIS counsellor online Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5:00pm. ADIS can also provide up-to-date information about service availability in your area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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