26 September 2023

Health points needle at Hepatitis treatment

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NSW Health is encouraging people at risk of viral hepatitis infection to seek testing, treatment and care as soon as possible.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said that with testing for hepatitis C now easier than ever, the elimination of the virus as a public health concern in NSW was within reach.

“NSW Health has committed to reducing the burden of hepatitis B and eliminating hepatitis C as a public health concern by 2028,” Dr Chant said.

“Viral hepatitis infection is one of the leading causes of liver cancer and can cause permanent damage if left untreated, but since the introduction of effective treatments for hepatitis C in 2016, NSW has treated over 33,000 people for hepatitis C,” she said.

“However, there are still around 40,000 people living with hepatitis C in NSW who have not received treatment.

Dr Chant said about 80,000 people in NSW lived with hepatitis B, but with regular monitoring and access to appropriate treatment they could live healthy and happy lives.

She called on people to access the convenient testing options that were available and free of charge.

“Testing for hepatitis C is now easier with the introduction of dried blood spot testing, which can be done in the comfort of a person’s home with results delivered by phone,” the Chief Health Officer said.

“Dried Blood Spot tests are free to eligible people over the age of 16 and can be ordered online at DBS – Dried blood spot.”

NSW Health’s DBS website can be accessed at this PS News link.

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