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DAAs decrease hep C deaths but double GPs needed

Hepatitis C deaths have declined by 20% in the two years since direct-acting antivirals were added to the PBS, infectious diseases physicians say. Professor Greg Dore, from the Kirby Institute, says the decline in deaths among patients with liver disease is remarkable and testament to the high uptake of the drugs.

“Around 10% of GPs have written a script for these new therapies — we’d like to potentially double that.”

www.pharmacynews.com.au/news/remarkable-results-daas-decrease-hep-c-deaths

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Fewer Australians are dying from hepatitis C

The number of Australians dying from liver failure and liver cancer related to hepatitis C has dropped by 20 per cent in just two years, according to preliminary data released today by The Kirby Institute. It follows the introduction of highly effective, low-cost curative drugs to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in 2016.

“This decline reflects the high uptake of direct-acting antiviral therapies among people with hepatitis C, particularly those with more advanced liver disease,” said Greg Dore from the Kirby Institute.

www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-08-13/fewer-australians-dying-from-hepatitis-c

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Govt intervenes to keep hep C elimination on track

NSW Health is encouraging people across the state living with hepatitis C to take advantage of new easy-to-take and highly effective medications, which can cure the illness. The medication program is part of the NSW Ministry of Health’s $4.5 million investment in 2018-19 to strengthen hepatitis C testing and treatment.

This year, Hepatitis Awareness Week is focusing on increasing treatment efforts for people who inject drugs. All people who currently inject drugs or have previously injected drugs should ask their doctor for a hepatitis C test and for hepatitis C treatment if they do have the infection.

www.theleader.com.au/story/5553811/keeping-hepatitis-c-elimination-on-track/

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World Hepatitis Day – addressing stigma and discrimination faced by people with viral hep

It’s never easy being sick. Sometimes it can be even harder than it needs to be, particularly when people are dealing with additional challenges such as stigma and discrimination that come with a diagnosis of their illness. This is very much the case for blood borne viruses (BBVs), including viral hepatitis. While the community has progressed a great deal in reducing the level of discrimination attached to people who are affected by HIV since the emergence of the virus in the 1980s, there is still much work to be done in supporting people who are impacted by blood borne viruses.

the-riotact.com/world-hepatitis-day-a-chance-to-address-stigma-and-discrimination

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Split-second moment that changed the next 35 years of my life

At the age of 29 in 1979, my “Plan A” was to grow old gracefully and maintain a very high level of fitness. When a car overtook a semi-trailer and hit me head-on while I was riding my motorcycle, my plan was left in disarray.

Over the next 18 months, I had many major life-saving operations, some needing multiple blood transfusions. It was only in 1988 that the Red Cross called and asked me to come in. I had blood tests, received counselling and was later told that I had hepatitis C.

www.smh.com.au/healthcare/split-second-moment-that-changed-the-next-35-years-of-my-life-20180726-p4zts7.html

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Associate Professor Amany Zekry recognised for health care work

Three health district leaders have been named among the inaugural Top 50 Public Sector Women in NSW. The South Eastern Sydney Local Health District clinicians, Associate Professor Amany Zekry, Theresa Jacques and Jodi Lynch are among the medical professionals honoured for their roles.

Professor Zekry is the medicine clinical stream director. As head of gastroenterology and hepatology, she built a clinical team delivering a multi-disciplinary, patient-centred approach towards diseases. She chaired the St George Hospital Clinical Council from 2010-2013 and is currently District Clinical Stream Director for Medicine, leading efforts to build a collaborative approach to equitable service delivery. From 2013-2017, she was the President of the Australian Liver Association and formed a large collaborative group that facilitated advocacy for PBS listing of treatment for hepatitis C. Under her leadership, the first report on the burden of chronic liver disease in Australia was commissioned and published, leading to positive engagement with policy makers.

www.theleader.com.au/story/5514234/medical-leaders-recognised-for-their-dedicated-work-with-patients

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My Health Record: Information about your options

There is a new medical record system called My Health Record. It is an online database designed to keep all your medical records in one place, operated by the Australian Government. This article describes the benefits and risks to help you make an informed decision, and talks about how to opt out if you do not want a My Health Record.

Every Australian will have a My Health Record account set up, unless they choose not to have one. If you choose not to have a record you can opt out from 16 July to 15 October 2018.

If you want a My Health Record, you don’t need to do anything. After October 2018, health services will upload the past two years of your Medicare and pharmacy records into the system. Already, 5 million people have a My Health Record. There is now a 3-month period for people to opt out to close their record or stop one being created.

For more details, see www.hep.org.au/my-health-record-information-about-your-options/

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Asylum seekers left untreated for hep C

The doctors who examined Wissam Jadiri when he came to Australia by boat in 2013 detected his elevated liver enzymes right away. But it took more than four years, countless flights and threats of a federal court case for the 41-year-old Feyli Kurdish asylum seeker to get treatment for hepatitis C.

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/real-and-tragic-consequences-asylum-seekers-left-untreated-for-hepatitis-c-20180611-p4zkvg.html

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Stigma Indicators Monitoring Project

One arm of this project expands upon previous data collection and the link below takes you to an online confidential survey, focused on people who inject drugs or who are living with hepatitis C.

Results from the previous phase showed more than half of participants reported experiencing stigma within the last 12 months related to their hepatitis C status (56%). Two-thirds of respondents reported at least some instances of being treated negatively by health workers (65%), including 15% who indicated this ‘often’ or ‘always’ happened.

Click to open the confidential survey >> 

Click here for background to the entire project >>

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Love Liver Love Life wows a packed audience

The light comedy “Love Liver, Love Life” wowed the packed audience at Hurstville Entertainment Centre’s Marana Auditorium. Held on Sat April 21, the play was organized by Hepatitis NSW, the Chinese Australian Services Society and the Australian Arts Assembly. This humorous light comedy was commissioned by Hepatitis NSW and the Australian Arts Assembly. It focused on prevention and treatment of hepatitis B in the Chinese community. The performance used easy-to-understand explanations to help eliminate the misunderstandings of hepatitis B prevention and control. As a result, the audience learnt more about hepatitis B related medical knowledge (acceptance of hepatitis B examination and treatment is of far-reaching significance).

www.meipian.cn/18zzuhzx

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