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March 2017
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ASHM - Curing Hepatitis C, Nowra
Date: 29 Mar - 29 Mar

An update for primary care providers Primary care practitioners in the Illawarra Shoalhaven region can help to improve

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April 2017
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Sydney Korean Festival
Date: 01 Apr - 02 Apr

Celebrating and sharing the wonderful Korean culture Hepatitis NSW is excited to attend this years Sydney Korean Festiv

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ASHM - Hepatitis C in Drug and Alcohol Settings Education Program
Date: 01 Apr - 01 Apr

People who inject drugs represent approximately 90% of newly acquired hepatitis C infections. Clinicians in drug and alc

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Sydney Korean Festival
Date: 01 Apr - 02 Apr

Celebrating and sharing the wonderful Korean culture Hepatitis NSW is excited to attend this years Sydney Korean Festiv

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ASHM - Curing Hepatitis C, Bega Valley region
Date: 05 Apr - 05 Apr

An update for primary care providers Primary care practitioners in the Bega Valley region can help to improve the healt

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The Liver and Your Health Expo
Date: 07 Apr - 07 Apr

A health expo specifically-designed for the Chinese community To conclude The Liver and Your Health Program, the North

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May 2017
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National Apology Day
Date: 26 May - 26 May

This event marks the anniversary of the Apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples in the House of Representatives on 1

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National Sorry Day
Date: 26 May - 26 May

National Sorry Day is a significant day for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and particularly for Stolen G

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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

Read more
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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

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June 2017
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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

Read more
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National Reconciliation Week
Date: 27 May - 03 Jun

National Reconciliation Week is an ideal time for everyone to join the reconciliation conversation and reflect on shared

Read more
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July 2017
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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

Read more
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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

Read more
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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

Read more
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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

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World Hepatitis Day
Date: 28 Jul - 28 Jul

World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis and encourage preventio

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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

Read more
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NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week
Date: 24 Jul - 30 Jul

NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week 2017 will start on Monday 24 July and run until Sunday 30 July, including World Hepatitis D

Read more
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August 2017
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National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
Date: 04 Aug - 04 Aug

National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day (NAICD) is a celebration of Indigenous children and is held on 4 Augus

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International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
Date: 09 Aug - 09 Aug

The International Day of the World’s Indigenous People was first proclaimed by the General Assembly in December 1994,

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International Overdose Awareness Day
Date: 31 Aug - 31 Aug

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness

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September 2017
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October 2017
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November 2017
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December 2017
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International Volunteer Day
Date: 05 Dec - 05 Dec

International Volunteer Day (IVD) is celebrated each year on 5 December and was established by the United Nations Genera

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January 2018
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Hep C interferon-based treatment

Hep C interferon-based treatment

 Treatment options  Genotypes 1-4  Genotypes 5-6

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Introduction

If you have hep C genotypes 5 or 6, your treatment would be sofosbuvir with peginterferon and ribavirin. Other new drugs for treating hep C are under development and in the approval process. When these new drugs are made available, this information will be updated.

 

Success rate

Sofosbuvir with peginterferon and ribavirin gives a cure in more than 90 people in every 100.

 

Treatment duration

Sofosbuvir/peginterferon/ribavirin combination treatment lasts for 12 weeks.

 

Are there injections?

Sofosbuvir pills are taken once a day, and ribavirin pills are taken twice a day, while pegylated interferon injections are taken once a week. The injections are under the skin around the abdomen (stomach).

 

Treatment side effects

The most common side effects of this treatment are fatigue, headache, throwing up, sleep problems, itching and crawling of the skin, and anaemia (low blood platelets).

There are some drug-to-drug interaction issues, but most issues will be able to be handled with changing accompanying medications, or through careful monitoring.

Pregnancy must be strictly avoided by both men and women (during treatment and for 24 weeks after). This is because ribavirin has been shown to cause birth defects.

 

Treatment access

The sofosbuvir with interferon and ribavirin combination is available via liver clinics and specialists.

See www.hep.org.au/services-directory/ for a listing of specialist liver/hepatitis clinics across NSW. This list will also be updated on a regular basis. To have one of our workers do a search for you, please call the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 803 990.

 

Preparing for treatment

First, you will have to see a GP for a referral to your nearest hospital liver clinic. At the clinic, you’ll be assessed for treatment. This will involve full blood testing and possible assessment of your fibrosis stage, via Fibroscan.

 

Filling of prescriptions

Because your prescription is provided at a liver clinic in a public hospital, you’ll need to go to the hospital pharmacy.

 

Treatment costs

The actual medicines are free but you will be charged the usual co-payment paid for a prescription. This is currently $38.30 per month for general patients and $6.20 per month if you have a Health Care Card.

 

Treatment monitoring and follow up

During treatment, you will have to visit the liver clinic for monitoring blood tests. Your specialist will do a PCR viral load test to assess whether treatment is working well.

The visit will probably involve other blood testing, including things like Full Blood Count, Urea, Electrolytes and Liver Function.

 

Defining cure

“Cure” or “SVR” (Sustained Virological Response) means that you have got rid of the hep C virus from your body. This is measured by a PCR viral detection test. If you have one of these tests at 24 weeks after treatment finishes and it shows “undetectable” (no virus), then you are considered to be cured.

But if hep C has caused liver damage already, being cured (getting rid of the virus) might not mean that you are healthy again all of a sudden. If you have cirrhosis (serious liver damage), you will still need to see a doctor or specialist for ongoing care (including Fibroscan examinations every 6 months). If you have cirrhosis you still have a risk of liver cancer, even after being cured of hep C.

Talk to your doctor about what “cure” should mean for you.

 

Children and treatment

Children with hep C should be seen and assessed by a paediatrician (children’s doctor) who knows about hepatitis. To find out more about care and treatment for children, phone the gastro unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead (02 9845 3989).

 

Support and counselling

It’s good to have some support in place so that if treatment gets tough you have people who will understand and help.

This might mean talking to a friend or a group of friends about the help you may need – for example, you may need a lift to the hospital for your regular treatment check-ups, especially if you’re not feeling well.

Talking to your family and friends about possible treatment side-effects means they’ll be better prepared to help you deal with them if they come up. You might also like to think about professional support.

You and those who are supporting you on treatment can access free counselling through Hepatitis NSW’s Let’s Talk counselling program.

 

For more news, subscribe to The Champion e-newsletter, and call the Hepatitis Infoline (1800 803 990).

 

This page last updated 14 Feb 2017.

Content drawn from Australian Recommendations for the Management of Hepatitis C Virus Infection: a Consensus Statement 2016, and publications of ASHMThe Kirby Institute and The Centre for Social Research in Health, and vetted by our Medical and Research Advisory Panel.