World Hepatitis Day is marked globally on 28 July.
In 2023 the theme is hep can’t wait, reminding us that we need to be proactive and act on viral hepatitis. For people with bleeding disorders, this includes knowing your hep C status, having treatment to cure hep C, where possible, and following up on liver health after treatment.
On World Hepatitis Day we come together and step up efforts in the worldwide goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.
In Australia many people with bleeding disorders acquired hepatitis C from their plasma-derived clotting factor treatment products or other blood products before 1993. Several safety measures were introduced by 1993 and the risk of bloodborne viruses from plasma-derived clotting factor products in Australia is now considered to be extremely low. But many people in our community live on with the consequences of those early infections.
A NoHEP future
Imagine a future without hepatitis C. Can we achieve this in the Australian bleeding disorders community?
New revolutionary hepatitis C treatments are widely available in Australia.
- Very high cure rates – over 95%
- One-daily tablets
- Few if any side effects.
Australians with bleeding disorders talk about their experiences with hep C – clearing the virus and caring for their liver health.
Do you have hepatitis C?
Many Australians with bleeding disorders and hep C have had treatment and been cured – but some may not even know they have hep C.
You could be at risk
- If you ever had clotting factor or a blood transfusion before 1993
- Or if you have shared equipment that could allow blood from an infected person to get into your blood stream, eg injecting equipment, non-sterile tattooing, medical care overseas
- Is this you or someone you know? Have you ever been tested for hep C? If not, now is the time to be tested – and have treatment to be cured, if you do have hep C!
Were you cured of hep C?
Did you have liver damage or cirrhosis?
Has your liver has recovered from hep C?
Don’t wait to find out.
Call your hepatitis doctor or your GP to check your liver test results.
Find out whether you need ongoing follow-up with a liver specialist.
If you had cirrhosis or extensive scarring before being treated and cured of hep C, you will still need to have a liver ultrasound scan every 6 months long-term.
HOW CAN YOU KEEP YOUR LIVER HEALTHY?
Your liver has a lot of different jobs to do to keep your body working well.
To keep your liver in good shape so that it can do what it needs to:
- Have a balanced diet
- Stay active and maintain a healthy weight
- Avoid or minimise alcohol intake
- Take care of your mental health and wellbeing
- Ask your doctor if you need liver health monitoring.
Don’t put it off!
- Find out your hep C status if you don’t know
- Hep C can be cured. Treatment is simple
- Ask your doctor if you need ongoing liver health monitoring if you have been cured
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
- Start the conversation – if you know someone who might have hep C and doesn’t know, or hasn’t taken up treatment yet, or has been cured but may need ongoing liver checks
As a Partner in the national World Hepatitis Day Campaign, HFA works with Hepatitis Australia and State and Territory Foundations on the annual national awareness campaign and is committed to making a difference on hepatitis C in Australia.