World Hepatits Awareness Week 2017 was acknowledged recently with the Murrumbidgee Health District promoting the cure for Hepatits C.
According to Murrumbidgee Local Health District the cure is easy to take and is a highly effective treatment that MLHD encourages people diagnosed with Hepatitis C to ask their General Practitioner about.
MLHD is also calling on Young and the community to get tested for the disease.
“More than 11,000 people in NSW were treated for hepatitis C in 2016, which is 14 per cent of the estimated number of people living with hepatitis C in NSW,” HIV and Related Programs Manager Alison Nikitas said.
“With a cure rate of 95 per cent, it is now possible to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health concern in NSW and Australia.”
The number of Australians with hepatitis C related liver disease has more than doubled since 2006 to over 49,000 people in 2015.
According to the MLHD appropriate treatment can also prevent the development of liver cancer in those diagnosed with Hepatitis C.
Ms Nikitas said most people with Hepatitis C can now be cured in 8-12 weeks, with all-oral tablets, no injections and minimal side-effects.
“For people who know they have Hepatitis C, there’s no reason why they cannot be living hepatitis C free by this time next year,” she said.
According to Ms Nikitas the challenges for those diagnosed with hepatitis B are vastly different with the disease also potentially leading to liver disease and cancer.
“If people do not know they have hepatitis B then they cannot undertake regular monitoring and won’t be accessing life-saving treatment if they need to.”
Anyone with any questions or who would like to be tested contact their GP.