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Australia leads the world in hepatitis C treatment, but virus more prevalent in Aboriginal people

Date posted: 4 October 2016

A University of New South Wales Kirby Institute report found that approximately 230,000 people were living with hepatitis C across the country last year, but only one in five received treatment. Hepatitis C is transferred by blood-to-blood contact and is often spread by sharing needles or not disposing of them correctly. 

An oral anti-viral treatment, with a cure rate over 90 per cent, was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) in March. At least 26,000 people have accessed help since its listing.

Professor Gregory Dore said the report results put Australia far ahead of other nations.

'There's absolutely no doubt that Australia is the envy of the world. In the first five months of access...more than 10 per cent of the population with chronic hepatitis C has already commenced these therapies. If you compare that to many other countries in their first 12 months of treatment, if you can treat 5 or 7 per cent of the population in the first year of these therapies you're thought to be doing pretty well,' said Professor Dore.

Gadigal man, Glenn Wagner, said that hepatitis C treatment is not an easy thing to experience, having suffered from the side-effects of earlier treatments.

Source: ABC News

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Last updated: 4 October 2016
 
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Australia's National Research Centre on AOD Workforce Development National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre National Drug Research Institute