More than 70,000 Victorians currently live with chronic hepatitis C. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.
Hepatitis C is caused by a
blood-borne virus and is transmitted through infected blood.
Direct acting antiviral treatments (DAAs) have been available via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) since March 2016, and have enabled more and more Victorians to have access to treatment for chronic hepatitis C and cure the infection in a matter of months.
The significant benefits from the new direct acting antivirals include:
- Improved cure rates (over 90%)
- Activity across various viral genotypes
- Simpler oral treatment protocols
- Shorter duration (12 – 24 weeks)
- Activity in the presence of co-infections with hepatitis B virus and HIV
- Effective in the presence of severe liver disease
- Fewer side effects
The DAAs has enabled treatment to move from intensive hospital-based therapy to community-based treatment by general practitioners in consultation with a specialist experienced in treatment of hepatitis C. This has dramatically improved treatment uptake.
Resources for health professionals
- HealthPathways Melbourne – online portal providing up-to-date clinical pathway for assessment and management, and clinical and patient resources. Developed by GPs and medical specialists it assists GPs to identify at risk groups, increase screening rates and access essential resources for hepatitis C management.
- Australasian Society of HIV Medicine (ASHM) – resources and training in clinical management and research, education, policy and advocacy to support the health workforce.
- Hepatitis Victoria – educational resources and
services for the community.
Be Free from Hep C
- University of Liverpool, Hepatitis Drug Interactions
- Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA):
Resources for consumers
- Hepatitis Victoria – Peer Support
- Better Health Channel – Hepatitis C
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – Hepatitis C Facts for Patients and Consumers