Hepatitis Matters sets out Hepatitis NSW’s main policy objectives for the four year period: 2016 to 2020.
These objectives were developed through consultation with our members, partner organisations and communities affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Stakeholders were asked what they believed we need to achieve to address the viral hepatitis epidemics in NSW, and for their ideas about the specific campaigns that Hepatitis NSW should run.
We intend to pursue these objectives on behalf of people living with, affected by and at risk of viral hepatitis in NSW. This includes developing and implementing campaigns on the seven policy areas listed, and finding ways for people living with or affected by hepatitis B and hepatitis C to contribute actively to these activities.
The policy areas listed also include, where relevant, issues of importance to Aboriginal people living with or affected by viral hepatitis, rather than having a separate or stand-alone policy priority, a decision which was taken following consultation with the Aboriginal community.
With effect from July 2016, Hepatitis NSW will lead, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, on the implementation of the NSW Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Communications Strategy. This will support and work towards achievement of our policy objectives that relate to increases in testing, monitoring and treatment access for people living with viral hepatitis in NSW.
Continued Equal Treatment Access to hepatitis C medicines
“Everyone with viral hepatitis deserves equal access to treatment. Thankfully Australians can access hepatitis C treatment before they progress to significant liver damage, but we need to keep working to ensure all people living with hepatitis C actually get their hands on a cure”
Expand models of care to support increased treatment numbers
“With so many people requiring treatment and care we need a variety of different settings in which people can access that care. If someone is already a patient at a clinic, it seems logical that their hepatitis treatment should be at that clinic too.”
Reduce stigma and discrimination against people with viral hepatitis
“Stigma and discrimination are not just hurtful, they both do real damage to people with viral hepatitis. They stop people who might have been exposed to the virus from getting tested; they act as a barrier to people accessing treatment; and they lead to distrust of the medical profession by those who are in need of care.”
Expand Needle & Syringe Programs to NSW prisons
“The introduction of needle & syringe programs in prisons would be the single-most effective new initiative to reduce viral hepatitis transmissions. It would help prevent a significant number of new hepatitis C and other BBV transmissions in NSW.”
Improve hepatitis service delivery to people in regional and remote NSW
“People with viral hepatitis live in all parts of NSW but the expertise to care for us and the support facilities we need are often concentrated around big city hospitals. Providing hepatitis services and resources for rural and remote communities is vital if we are going to get on top of these viruses.”
Increase testing for viral hepatitis, especially for hepatitis B
“Getting tested for hepatitis B and hepatitis C is the first step to taking control of your health. Once you know your status you can have treatment if necessary. It’s as easy as asking your GP and could save you going through a liver transplant like I did”.
Encourage regular monitoring and treatment (where relevant) for people with hepatitis B
“Many Australians who were born overseas have had hepatitis B since they were children. The longer a person lives with hep B the greater their chance of developing liver disease and liver cancer. But there is effective treatment available that can keep hep B under control and prevent liver damage.”
For more information about our campaign work, contact our project team.
Phone 02 8217 7702 (9-5, M-F)
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This page last updated 9 Jan 2018