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World Hepatitis Day 2017

Date posted: 23 July 2017

World Hepatitis Day on 28 July, seeks to raise awareness of prevention and treatments for hepatitis.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. These viruses can be transmitted through being exposed to blood or bodily fluids from another person. Often people become infected with hepatitis B during childhood. Other groups who are more at risk of contracting hepatitis (such as hepatitis B and C) are people who inject drugs as these viruses can be transmitted by sharing needles. 

People with hepatitis B and C may not know they have the disease, as when they first have the infection they can look and feel healthy. It is important to get treatment for hepatitis B and C, because if these infections are left untreated, it can cause serious illness such as liver cancer and liver damage later in life. It also means that people may unknowingly transmit the infection to others.

It is recommended that anyone who has have ever injected drugs see their health provider and ask to be tested. There are new, very effective treatments available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for hepatitis C.
While there is no cure as yet for hepatitis B, appropriate monitoring and treatment can prevent serious liver damage and complications including liver cancer caused by the hepatitis B infection.

The Australian Indigenous Alcohol and other Drugs Knowledge Centre hosts a range of health promotion resources on reducing harms from blood borne viruses such as hepatitis B and C, that are available from our AOD Workers portal. These are useful resources for health workers to share with clients or for people seeking easy to read information about hepatitis.The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet also has a collection of publications, health promotion and practice resources and programs on hepatitis.

Click on the links below for more information.

Sources: Hepatitis Australia and World Health Organisation


Last updated: 1 August 2017
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