Hep C testing and treatment is now super simple, super safe, super manageable and super-effective. Unfortunately, some people aren’t getting treated because they are running on old information about the previous interferon/ribavirin treatments. However, things got better a few years ago with the introduction of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). Hep C treatment has changed for the better. People can be treated at local health services, and most don’t need to go to the Liver Clinic.
Clearing the Path aims to spread awareness about hep C treatments and cure
These are the positive messages of this year’s hepatitis C campaign, Clearing the Path. The campaign is aimed at not only raising awareness of DAA treatments and cure but dispelling stubborn myths that persist from the days of interferon. DAAs have a very high cure rate – over 95% – with minimal, if any, side-effects for most people. Taken as daily doses of pills, the new treatments take just 8 or 12 weeks.
Thousands of people in NSW have already been treated and cured since March 2016, but many more living with hep C are yet to seek treatment. We conducted research which showed that lack of information or misconceptions were the main reasons people with hep C hadn’t come forward to be treated. The campaign will deliver myth-busting, correct information in a positive, uplifting format and get the conversation about treatment started.
What is hep C and who is at risk?
Hepatitis C is a virus that is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and can, over time, damage a person’s liver – leading to fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and even liver cancer.
Someone could be at risk of hep C if they have ever had blood-to-blood contact. Sharing injecting equipment or getting home tattoos or home piercings are the most common means of transmission.
Many people do not know they are living with hep C
Tens of thousands of people in NSW are living with hep C, but many do not know they have the virus. Some people do not have symptoms. Having a blood test is the only way to know if someone is living with the virus.
Being cured of hep C can improve quality of life. Many people who have finished their course of treatment report feeling greater levels of energy and alertness.
There has never been a better time to get tested and start hep C treatment
NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week started on Monday 27 July, with World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday 28 July. During that week and into August, Hepatitis NSW with NUAA will be rolling out the bright, eye-catching artwork – wall posters, street pole posters, pull up banners, and pubs and clubs washroom advertising – throughout New South Wales. The messaging focuses on the availability and effectiveness of new hep C treatments.
There has never been a better time to start hep C treatment and be cured of the virus. Treatment has changed for the better, and that’s no fake news.
For more information on this campaign, please email: Vanessa – firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more on hep C and cure, call the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 803 990 or visit the campaign website>>> hepc.org.au
Published 3 August, 2020