Seek support this Hepatitis Awareness Week
People in Far West NSW at risk of hepatitis C infection are being encouraged to take steps to seek testing and treatment as soon as possible, this Hepatitis Awareness Week (24 – 30 July 2023).
Hepatitis C is a virus that affects the liver and is transmitted through blood to blood contact. Once considered a chronic condition with life-threatening health impacts, hepatitis C can now be cured with simple, effective and affordable treatments.
These treatments, known as direct acting antivirals (DAAs), are now widely available. DAAs cure hepatitis C in over 95 per cent of cases, with minimal side effects. Tablets need to be taken for only 8-12 weeks for most people.
So far, over 45,000 people in New South Wales have completed treatment for hepatitis C using DAAs. However, there are still many people living with hepatitis C in NSW who have not received treatment, and this includes around 180 in Far West NSW.
People who may be at risk of hepatitis C should talk to their GP or Clinic 9 Broken Hill Community Health Centre (phone 08 8080 1100) for testing or order a self-collected testing kit at .
In June 2022, NSW Health released a comprehensive plan to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health concern by 2028 with the NSW Hepatitis C Strategy 2022 – 2025.
The NSW Hepatitis C Strategy 2022-2025 prioritises:
- Working closely with key stakeholders to improve access to testing and treatment, including alcohol and other drug services, needle and syringe program sites, mental health settings and custodial settings;
- Addressing barriers for treatment such as stigma and discrimination;
- Creating a workforce with lived experience of hepatitis C, to offer support and education in the community;
- Enhancing the collection and analysis of hepatitis C data; and
- Improving access to services for people in regional and remote areas.
NSW Health has also partnered with Hepatitis NSW and the NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) to develop HEP CURED, a state-wide health promotion and awareness campaign.
For more information call the Hepatitis NSW Infoline on 1800 803 990.