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The Champion #81 – February 2020

This issue:

  1. Clearing the Path campaign rolls out
  2. Closing the Gap at Yabun Festival 2020
  3. Connecting hep C clients to care and cure
  4. Test, Cure, Live campaign in Northern Rivers
  5. It’s time for a C Change… print resource released as a video!

The Champion eNews #81 | February 2020

Clearing the Path campaign rolls outClearing the Path rolls out

The roll-out of the Clearing the Path hep C myth-busting campaign through selected Needle Syringe Programs (NSPs) across NSW is now in full swing. Clearing the Path is a micro campaign, produced by Hepatitis NSW in partnership with NUAA, aimed at encouraging people who inject drugs to consider hep C testing, treatment, and cure.

Peers from NUAA or Hepatitis NSW are on site at participating NSPs to talk positively with clients about hep C treatment and cure. The campaign’s key call to action is “Talk to us now” and having peers on site gives service users the chance to have a chat about treatment. A number of peers have already reported that some people they’ve talked with have said they didn’t know about the new cures, and a significant number of clients have also talked to health workers about testing and treatment.

Local NSPs in Albury, Bathurst, Belmore, Blacktown, Broken Hill, Brookvale, Coffs Harbour, Darlinghurst, Kingswood, Lismore, Liverpool, Miller, Mt Druitt, Newcastle West, Orange, Queanbeyan, Redfern, Surry Hills, Taree, Tweed Heads, Wagga Wagga, Windsor and Wollongong are all a part of Clearing the Path.

Colourful, highly visible posters and chalk pavement stencils with direct hep C treatment messages have been placed in public areas close to participating NSPs. The host NSPs also have posters on display, and branded merchandise (hats, T-shirts, water bottles, postcards, lanyards, and pens) which can be given to clients by peers.

Clearing the Path will run through February and March. For more information visit the campaign website hepC.org.au

Closing the Gap at Yabun Festival 2020

Closing the Gap at Yabun Festival 2020

Yabun is a one of a kind event that honours the survival of the world’s oldest living culture. It is the largest one day gathering in recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. It’s held annually on 26 January (Australia Day, aka Survival Day/Invasion Day), upon the traditional lands of the Gadigal people in Sydney, at Camperdown’s Victoria Park.

Once again Hepatitis NSW, along with other 414 Close the Gap partners, participated in the 2020 Yabun stalls market. Hepatitis NSW, ACON, NUAA, SWOP, and Positive Life, are all based at 414 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills, and shared a double stall at Yabun.

Yabun Festival features live music, a bustling stalls market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, children’s activities, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances. The stalls market includes a wide range of food and merchandise, as well as stalls operated by community organisations promoting services and information.

The event gave us the chance to meet, talk and share information and experiences with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people at Yabun.

Merchandise for Hepatitis NSW and NUAA’s hep C campaign – Clearing the Path – was provided to people who completed a hep C quiz. In all, 20 campaign water bottles and 50 hats were given out, along with many hepatitis resources to others who stopped by.

Hepatitis NSW staff and volunteers were able to connect with other community organisations and health stall holders, allowing for promotion of Hepatitis NSW resources and health promotion services.

Connecting hep C clients to care and cure

Hep Connect

In July 2019, the Hepatitis NSW HepConnect peer program underwent a major change to keep it relevant and successful. The change came about as a result of the new era of simplified treatment.

HepConnect moved from a solely peer-to-client telephone support program to a new program now designed for hepatology nurses’ clients throughout NSW’s Local Health Districts (LHDs). Hepatology nurses can refer clients who are about to start, or are currently undergoing treatment for hep C, into the program.

The change has been successful and popular. By November 2019, HepConnect was supporting seven clients who then benefited from additional treatment adherence support, and who, without this support, might not have completed their treatment.

The program offers personalised SMS text message reminders and optional peer support calls, delivered by peers with experience of living with hep C and who are now cured. Peers work in close partnership with our Hep Connect Project Officer. There are currently 11 clients in the program, who have been referred by seven nurses across four LHDs.

Over 275 SMS text messages have been sent to date, and most of the hepatology nurses have referred more than one client into the service. Half of the clients requested daily reminders to take their medication. Other important messages include reminders to pick up prescriptions and medicine, and to make an appointment to test for sustained viral response 12 weeks’ post treatment (SVR12) to confirm cure. Each client’s messages are tailored to their requirements.

The Hep Connect team has a wealth and depth of experience engaging with clients and are perfectly placed to provide the right type of treatment support, at the right time, all the way to cure (SVR12).

For more information on Hep Connect >>>CLICK HERE

Test, Cure, Live campaign in Northern Rivers

Test, Cure, Live

Our national partner, Hepatitis Australia, recently launched a local version of their “Test, Cure, Live” campaign in the NSW Northern Rivers area covering Lismore, Byron, and Ballina. The campaign encourages people living with hepatitis C to speak with a doctor to find out about being cured of hepatitis C.

Test, Cure, Live is primarily aimed at people aged over 50 years, especially those who may not be aware of, or who have not thought about, their hep C status – let alone know there is a cure. Key messages highlight the efficacy of the treatment and the opportunity to not just be cured of hep C but to improve overall energy levels and health.

The Northern Rivers campaign has included advertisements and articles in local newspapers, targeted social media posts, and ad spots on regional radio stations. This has been followed up with an extensive letterbox drop and information campaign targeting GPs and clinics in those areas.

To read more on Test, Cure, Live >>>CLICK HERE

It’s time for a C Change… print resource released as a video!

C-Change video

One of Hepatitis NSW’s most popular resources, C Change – a brochure that gives an overview of hep C testing, treatment, and cure – has now also been released as a short video! Two hep C peers provided a voice over which was based directly on the text of the brochure; the sound file was then synchronised with related infographics.

The video runs for just under four minutes, and is a useful, educational overview covering:

You can watch the video – It’s time for a C Change: Curing hep C – via the embed below, or on YouTube.

It’s time for a C Change: Curing hep C in Australia

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