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JUNE 2013




12 World Hepatitis Day Feature on World Hepatitis Day:

04 Going Viral

Who, What, When, Where, How?

14 World Hepatitis Day in Australia Feature on Hepatitis Australia’s

new poster campaign for World Hepatitis Day

A PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE 06 A Call For Hep C Education in Schools Written by Debbie Porteous.

HEALTH & LIFESTYLE 16 Hepatitis C & Food: An Introduction to Healthy Eating A summary of foods and how it

16 PROMOTIONS 07 HepatitisWA Peer Support

A round-up of articles on viral


08 Hepatitis B may be associated

with low vitamin D

Written by Harold Mandel.

20 Who We Are & What We Do Feature by WASUA (WA Substance

Users Association).


associated hepatocellular

carcinoma in Victoria

23 HepatitisWA Ad Spot

• World Hepatitis Alliance’s “See No, Hear No, Speak No” Campaign

• HepatitisWA Presents the Phone Shot Competition

Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and

cirrhosis are major risk factors for

hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


affects you if you have Hepatitis C.


10 World Hepatitis Day Hepatitis B

11 Epidemiology of hepatitis B

Group Poster

• HepatitisWA Newsletter Online Survey 2013

• HepatitisWA agency advert 24 World Hepatitis Alliance’s

22 Global Health Community

Renew Commitment to Tackling


Viral Hepatitis at 66th World

Know the main routes of

Health Assembly

transmission of viral hepatitis.

Press Release.

Hepatitis: Know The Facts

Strawberry image available under a creative commons license at Photography by Andreas Krappweis Copyright © 2013. Group of people image available under a creative commons license at Copyright © 2012. 2

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013




he Tasmanian Council on AIDS, Hepatitis and Related Diseases wants for better education for young people around blood borne viruses, after a series of syringe scares. Three children from a Hobart primary school last week were found pricking each other with a syringe found outside a doctor’s surgery. It was the fourth such recent syringe scare involving children.

investigational hepatitis C pill sofosbuvir. The company filed a New Drug Application for sofosbuvir plus ribavirin in April as an all-oral therapy for genotype 2 and 3 HCV infection, and for sofosbuvir, RBV and pegylated interferon combination for treatmentnaive patients with genotype 1, 4, 5 and 6 infections. The priority review, granted to drugs that may provide major advances over existing options, means that the US Food and Drug Administration has set a target date under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act of December 8, four months earlier than usual.

TasCAHRD says blood awareness is a concept that can be introduced to young children and wants it in the national curriculum.

Recently, the European Medicines Agency accepted Gilead’s request for accelerated assessment for sofosbuvir, a once-daily nucleotide NS5B BY SUNDAY TASMANIAN, HOBART inhibitor, which could shorten the EMA’s review time by two June 09, 2013 for Sunday Tasmanian, Hobart. months. The drug has shown impressive SVR12 rates (ie GILEAD’S HEP C PILL sustained viral response 12 weeks after completing GETS FDA PRIORITY therapy and considered cured) in a number of trials. REVIEW


ilead Sciences has been boosted by the news that regulators in the USA have granted a priority review to its 4

The HCV market has been attracting huge interest since the approval a couple of years ago of Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ Incivek (telaprevir) and Merck & Co’s Victrelis (boceprevir). Both have impressive cure

rates but there are concerns about side effects, so the race is on for an all-oral treatment which can eliminate or reduce the need for interferon. As well as Gilead, other companies in that race include AbbVie and its all-oral triple direct-acting antiviral combination and a combo from Bristol-Myers Squibb centred around daclatasvir and asunaprevir. Johnson & Johnson filed simeprevir earlier this year, while another company looking at the HCV market is Boehringer Ingelheim. BY KEVIN GROGAN . June 10, 2013 for PharmaTimes Online



ustralia is spending more than a billion dollars each year enforcing the ‘‘war on drugs’’ but has slashed funding for harm reduction, a landmark analysis has found. Two-thirds of the $1.7 billion Australian state, territory and federal governments spent on drugs went on law enforcement, according to the Government

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013 Disclaimer: The news articles and excerpts displayed in the HepatitisWA Newsletter remain the copyright of the original authors and news publications.


Drug Policy Expenditure in Australia report released on Thursday. Drug experts say Australia’s spending simply does not match up with the evidence and have called for a drastic readjustment in favour of treatment and harm reduction.



atients coinfected with chronic hepatitis C and occult hepatitis Report author Alison Ritter B were more likely said it was gravely concerning to develop cirrhosis or hepatocellular that spending on harm carcinoma and had poorer reduction measures had dropped survival than patients with since a similar analysis in 2002. ‘‘I think it’s a shift in policy hepatitis C alone in a recent study. that hasn’t been formally acknowledged,’’ she said. In an observational cohort study, researchers tested 326 patients ‘‘There is absolutely no reason with chronic HCV for occult HBV that investment should have infection (OBI)* between 1991 decreased.’’ and 2000. All participants were hepatitis B surface antigen The report found Australia spent (HBsAg)-negative and underwent 2.1 per cent of its drugs liver biopsy. Follow-up for a budget, or $36 million, on median of 11 years (range harm reduction in the 2009-10 5-19 years) was performed in financial year. This compared 94 patients, including 37 OBIwith $361 million, or 21 per positive and 57 OBI-negative cent, on treatment services and participants. $1.1 billion on law enforcement. Seventy-nine participants received interferon-based Australian National Council on HCV therapy, either with or Drugs executive director Gino without ribavirin. Sustained Vumbaca said politicians were virologic response occurred in under pressure to put money 26 patients, independently of into law enforcement. ‘‘It is easy OBI status. to show off your interception of half a tonne of drugs, but Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) it’s much harder to show how a developed in 13 OBI-positive and service has improved the lives of five OBI-negative participants across a median of 8.8 20 people over a year,’’ he said. years (P<.01). In this group, patients with OBI were younger BY AMY CORDEROY . than those without OBI (60 years vs. 74 years; P<.05).

June 29, 2013 for Age, Melbourne.

*Definition: Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is recognized by two main characteristics: absence of HBsAg, and low viral replication.

Among participants who did not develop HCC, eight OBIpositive and seven OBI-negative participants had developed advanced cirrhosis. Worsening liver disease was directly correlated with OBI via the Spearman Correlation Test (P<.001). Across the entire cohort, 18 participants died and two underwent liver transplantation. All deaths were due to liverrelated causes. Cumulative survival rates were shorter (P=.003) and liver-related deaths were more frequent among those with OBI (12 cases vs. six; P<.01). Investigators noted associations between poor survival and HCC development (P<.01) and lack of response to HCV therapy (P=.02). “The observation that response to anti-HCV therapy (that was not influenced by the OBI status) is associated with a benign evolution of the liver disease, thus possibly nullifying the negative effect of OBI on the liver disease outcome, is of the utmost importance,” the researchers wrote. “Altogether, these data and considerations may lead to the conclusion that, among [chronic HCV] patients, the occult HBV coinfected individuals represent a category at high risk of progression toward cirrhosis, HCC development and lower survival, thus representing a subset of patients in whom curing the HCV infection appears to be a high priority.”

BY G. SQUADRITO . June 17, 2013 for HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013


For more information, please contact Kim Rossow on 9227 9806 or

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013


Epidemiology of


hepatitis B-associated hepatocellular carcinoma in Victoria Background

Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and cirrhosis are major risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The proportion and characteristics of cases with cirrhosis are not well documented.


Our aim was to compare demographic, viral and tumour characteristics of HBVassociated HCC in an Australian cohort, in patients with and without cirrhosis.


Existing HCC databases at six Melbourne teaching hospitals were reviewed for cases associated with HBV. Patient demographics, HBV viral characteristics, presence of cirrhosis, serum alpha-fetoprotein and tumour size were assessed. Mode of diagnosis was recorded through surveillance or symptoms, and treatment was either palliative, percutaneous or surgical.


We identified 197 cases of HBVrelated HCC. The mean age was 57.9 ± 12.9 years; 83% were male,

and 55.3% and 35.3% were of Asian and European descent respectively. Of 168 patient with available data, 146 (87%) had cirrhosis versus 22 (13%) without. Patients with cirrhosis tended to be older (median 60 vs 52 years, P = 0.078). Asian patients were more likely to have HCC without cirrhosis than Europeans (17% vs 6%, P = 0.04). There were no other differences identified between cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients. Thirty-four per cent of patients had tumours greater than 5  cm at diagnosis, and 47% were diagnosed after presenting with symptoms. Twelve patients with HBV-HCC were outside current screening guidelines.


Most patients in Melbourne with HBV-associated HCC have cirrhosis. HCC characteristics in non-cirrhotic and cirrhotic patients were similar. The large number of patients detected through symptoms and with large tumours reinforces the need for vigilance in screening. ABSTRACT , May 14, 2013 for Internal Medicine Journal ©

References: Sinclair, M., Roberts, S., Kemp, W., Knight, V., Dev, A., Gow, P., Philpott, H., Kronborg, I., Arachchi, N. J., Bell, S.,HEPATITISWA Lim, L., Gorelik, A., Nicoll, and Newsletter // JuneA.2013 Melbourne Collaboration for the Study of Hepatocellular Carcinoma (2013), Epidemiology of hepatitis B-associated hepatocellular carcinoma in Victoria. Internal Medicine Journal, 43: 501–506. doi: 10.1111/imj.12068




HEPATITIS DA Who, What, Where, When and How?


orld Hepatitis Day is a global annual event that provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity around which interested groups can raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.

concerts and press briefings to ministerial meetings and fundraising events.

The WHA (World Hepatitis Alliance) first launched World Hepatitis Day in 2008 in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis did not have the level of awareness, nor the political priority, seen with other communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Since then thousands of events have taken place around the world, generating massive public and media interest. The Alliance has also received support from governments worldwide, high-profile NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations) and supranational bodies, such as MÊdecins Sans Frontières.

The World Hepatitis Alliance hopes that World Hepatitis Day will prompt people to think about the huge scale of viral hepatitis infection globally, about whether they may be at risk (and if so, to get tested) and also about how to avoid becoming infected. The long-term objective of the campaign is to prevent new infections and to deliver real improvements in health outcomes for people living with hepatitis B and C.

Who organises World Hepatitis Day? Since 2008 World Hepatitis Day has been coordinated by the World Hepatitis Alliance. In May 2010 the World Health Assembly passed resolution WHA63.18 on viral hepatitis which provides official endorsement of World Hepatitis Day as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts. To date, thousands of events have taken place around the world, from rock

What makes it important? Shockingly 500 million people worldwide are living with either chronic hepatitis B or C. While this is far higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, awareness is inexplicably low and the majority of those infected are unaware.

Where is it? World Hepatitis Day events take place all over the world. Please visit for a list of events, or you could even set up your own event. There are many materials on the WHA website to help you get started, including posters, logos and flier designs. When is World Hepatitis Day? Following the World Health Assembly in May 2010, it was agreed that World Hepatitis Day would be recognised annually on 28 July. This date was chosen to mark the birthday of Professor Baruch Blumberg, awarded the Nobel Prize for

12 World HEPATITISWA Newsletter // JuneWebsite 2013 Source: Hepatitis Alliance Available at (01 June 2013)

JULY 28TH, 2013


his work in discovering the hepatitis B virus. He said: “It’s good to know that my birthday will be remembered in this unusual and unexpected way. We never thought this would happen when we were studying a strange protein from Australia.” How do I get involved? Take a look at the World Hepatitis Day 2013 page online. It will soon be updated with more information about what is going on around the world. Also feel free to contact World Hepatitis Alliance by email at

You can also get involved locally by participating in an event near you! This year HepatitisWA is offering workshops and support services to help raise awareness of viral hepatitis in our communities, and will have a presence throughout metro and regional Western Australia. You can also order free educational resources and promotional materials online. Please visit us at for more information. Alternatively, you can email us via or call us on (08) 9227 9802.

Image available under a creative commons license at Copyright © 2012.

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013


The three target posters As part of the promotion of World Hepatitis Day 2013, Hepatitis Australia has produced a series of 3 posters. The first poster is focused on general liver health and promotes the messages “Fall in LOVE again... Your LIVER is waiting.” and “Learn to love your liver” with the imagery of hands making a ‘heart shape’ around the liver. The second poster is focused on hepatitis C. The image shows young adults who may be ‘at risk’. The message displayed on this poster is: “Hepatitis C. He’s been cured. Can she be cured? There’s never been a better time to consider treatment for hepatitis C. Talk to your doctor about a liver health assessment...” The third poster is focused on hepatitis B with an image of an Asian family, with the messages “Hepatitis B. Could it be you? Could it be a family member?

Many people born overseas were not vaccinated against hepatitis B. Talk to your doctor...” Each poster covers the different faces of viral hepatitis, in an aim to reach the targeted audiences and beyond. The World Hepatitis Day Launch This year the launch of World Hepatitis Day will be online, utilising social media to raise awareness of hepatitis. The World Hepatitis Day launch will consist of a live online event targeting viewers from across Australia. The live event will be edited to create short videos which can be uploaded to social media platforms for further viewing. For more information on the Love Your Liver campaign or to download the new posters, visit Hepatitis Australia’s website at: HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013



Hepatitis C & Food:

An Introduction to

Healthy eating

It is common for people with hepatitis C to worry about what they eat and whether their diet affects their liver. Generally speaking, there are no particular foods that people need to avoid or seek out, aside from avoiding alcohol and certain herbs and plants than can cause liver damage.

Role of The Liver The liver is one of the most important organs of your body. It is the factory that converts raw materials from your digestive system into substances that your body needs. It detoxifies harmful substances such as alcohol and helps remove waste products. The liver also makes bile which helps in the digestion and absorption of fats.

Hepatitis C & The Liver

good daily intake of vitamins and minerals you need to eat some food from all the food groups every day, varying your choices from day to day. Exercise may also make you feel better and improve your appetite. You don’t have to take it seriously, only regularly. Over consuming alcohol or other drugs can disrupt your day-to-day eating patterns and this may have a negative impact on your health.

HCV (the hepatitis C virus) uses materials from inside liver cells to reproduce. This Hepatitis C & Body Weight results in damages to the liver that is often mild but sometimes, more serious. Evidence is mounting that excess body fat contributes to liver disease (as well as Even if someone’s liver is not significantly cardiovascular disease). People with HCV damaged, they may still feel tired or ill. This may are advised to avoid becoming overweight. be due to the way the human body fights HCV. The best way to manage your weight is a long Healthy Eating & Lifestyle term approach of increasing the exercise you do Healthy eating is important as you generally along with maintaining a lower-fat, high-fibre feel better when you eat well. Healthy eating diet. Avoid rapid weight loss as this can be involves choosing a variety of foods. In the damaging to the liver. Contact a dietitian right balance, these foods will meet your body’s to discuss the best strategy for you. need for energy, growth and repair. To get a Article “Hepatitis C and Food - An introduction to healthy eating” re-printed with permission by Hepatitis NSW. Available at 16 HEPATITISWA Newsletter //(01 JuneJune 20132013) Strawberry image available under a creative commons license at Photography by Andreas Krappweis Copyright © 2013.

Alcohol & Hepatitis C The risk of developing cirrhosis is higher for people with HCV if they also are heavy drinkers (for more information speak to your doctor or visit A reduction in alcohol intake should be the first step in any attempt to reduce the possible risk of serious liver damage.

Fats & Hepatitis C You don’t need to cut out all fats and oils just because you have hepatitis C - everybody needs some fats to make hormones and for body cells to function properly. Many people in Australia though, eat too much fat which is a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and becoming overweight. People are generally advised to eat less fat.

Nausea & Loss of Appetite Here are some tips to help when you feel nauseous or have lost your appetite: • Eat small amounts, often. • Eat most when you feel hungry. • Try ginger ale or other ginger products. • Choose foods that contain lots of vitamins and minerals. You can meet your requirements in a smaller amount of food by eating foods like milkshakes or smoothies, yogurt, nuts, tofu, dried fruit, soy drinks, flavoured milk or cheese. • Try different tastes to stimulate your appetite, eg. bitter, sour, salty, sweet. • Nutritional supplements may be useful if you are not eating well, or if you are losing too much weight.

If you feel sick or nauseous (ie. feel like vomiting) and find that fatty food doesn’t agree Talk to a dietitian if nausea and loss of appetite with you, try avoiding such foods while you persist. Dietitians can also provide advice on feel nauseous. Reintroduce individual foods nutritional supplements. gradually to see which ones cause the problem. Continued over the page HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013



Dairy Foods Dairy foods are an excellent source of essential nutrients. It is hard to get enough calcium if you exclude milk products from your diet. Some dairy foods contain high levels of fat and if you want to reduce your fat intake, choose reduced-fat dairy products or calcium-enriched soy milk products.

Red Meat

Tea Tea and coffee have been enjoyed in many cultures for thousands of years. The active ingredient, caffeine, produces effects on the body (such as increased alertness) but these are usually temporary. There is no published scientific evidence suggesting that tea, coffee or caffeinecontaining drinks, consumed in moderation, cause particular problems for people with HCV.

Lean red meat is a valuable source of iron, protein Sugar and B group vitamins. There is no published scientific evidence to suggest that people with We are born with a strong liking for sweet tasting hepatitis C are adversely affected by eating foods. Although sugar is a source of energy red meat. (calories, kilojoules), it is better to obtain your energy from nutrient rich foods such as wholegrain breads and cereals, Salt meats, fruits, nuts, fish, tofu or vegetables. All people in Australia are advised to eat less salt whether they have hepatitis C or not. Sugar enhances the flavour of many foods and You can do this by using less salt in cooking it is often found as an additive. Such and reducing salt use at the table. Many foods consumed in moderation should manufactured or processed foods such as not pose a health problem. There is no canned vegetables or sauces are high in salt. published scientific evidence to suggest that Try using low-salt or salt-reduced varieties of people with hepatitis C have particular these foods. problems metabolising (processing) sugar.


HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013

All images available under a creative commons license at Photography by Andreas Krappweis Copyright Š 2013.

Food colours & preservatives There is no published scientific evidence to suggest that people with hepatitis C have particular problems metabolising artificial colours or preservatives in foods. Avoiding all artificial colours, flavours and preservatives would severely limit your shopping choices and could add unnecessary stress to your life without any significant health benefits. Any people with proven sensitivity to particular colours, preservatives or foods should be vigilant, whether they have hepatitis C or not.

Vitamin & mineral supplements

Further nutritional information

There is evidence that antioxidant nutrients (such as vitamin C and E) can play a role in limiting the damage that HCV causes to the liver. Most people get their vitamins and minerals from fruit and vegetables. Additional supplements may be useful for people who do not eat a variety of foods from each food group.

Most people with hepatitis C will not experience serious liver damage. They need only take care about their food choices and alcohol intake to ensure their diet keeps them as healthy as possible.

If you have a level of liver damage or symptoms that require more specialised dietary advice, People with illness or injury have increased your GP or specialist should be able to vitamin and mineral requirements and refer you to a dietitian. may benefit from taking supplements. For further information on hepatitis C and If you take supplements, be careful not diet, please contact the Hepatitis Helpline on to exceed the recommended dose as (08) 9328 8538 Metro; 1800 800 070 Country. this may be harmful. Seek advice about whether you need nutritional supplements from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

Herbal treatments Some herbal treatments have been shown as beneficial to the liver (eg. siymarin). Other herbs can damage the liver (eg. germander, Teucrium chamaedrys) and some can interfere with prescribed medications. Complementary health practitioners can advise on possible herbal treatment options. It is recommended that you discuss all treatments you are considering with your medical practitioner. HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013



Health and Harm Reduction Services For People Who Use Illicit Substances

WASUA WHO WE ARE & WHAT WE DO Run for Users By Users


he West Australia Substance Users Association (WASUA) is a community based organisation that advocates the interests of people who use illicit substances. WASUA delivers a range of health, harm reduction and peer education services that form the cornerstone for preventing and reducing the transmission of blood-borne viruses (BBV) amongst people who use illicit substances and the broader Western Australian community. WASUA operates within a social health and community development framework underpinned by harm reduction and peer education. WASUA aims to improve the health and social circumstances of people who use/inject illicit substances. Target Groups: All people who use/inject illicit substances that may include heroin, amphetamines, prescription drugs, steroids and others. There is emphasis on being welcoming and showing discretion, without discrimination toward any race, religion or sexual orientation. NSEP (Needle and Syringe Exchange Program): The NSEP operates on a one for one exchange basis or a fee for new supplies is charged when equipment is not returned.


HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013

Safe Disposal: Disposal containers are provided at each transaction. WASUA’s disposal worker is available to work with service users and a range of groups and individuals on safe needle and disposal issues. Health Clinic: The health clinic offers free testing for BBVs (Blood Borne Viruses) and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections), flu shots, hep A and B vaccinations and pre and post test counselling. All clinical services are free and confidential so there is no need to bring a Medicare card or even give us your real name. WASUA’s friendly nurse Irene takes appointments without bookings between 10am and 4pm each Tuesday and Thursday. Hepatitis C Educator: The hep C educator offers peer support, education, referral and advocacy for people with hepatitis C or at risk of becoming infected. The aim is to be able to supported people with hep C, give them up to date information regarding the virus and treatments, as well as proper referral to clinical services. ORPACS (Opioid Replacement Pharmacotherapy Advocacy and Complaints Service): This service provides advocacy and is the first stop shop for people wanting to stay on pharmacotherapy programs and for those wishing to complain about perceived shortcomings in said program. Sometimes a simple mediation is all that is required. Do not hesitate to ring. We can help!

Steroids: We can offer information, guidance and support for performance image enhancing drug users, discuss safe injecting practices, and work closely with diet and exercise regimes. We are able to discuss the FAQ’s steroid users are often left wondering. Treatment Support & Referral: We offer information and supported referral to AOD (Alcohol and Other Drugs) treatment, health, social and legal services. OPAM (Overdose Prevention And Management): The over dose prevention and management project is a relatively new collaboration between WASUA and DAO (Drug and Alcohol Office). The OPAM project educates suitable community members to become peer educators, whom then go on to record interactions between opioid users whenever they pass on information about safer injecting knowledge. OPAM is about capturing lines of communication that already exists amongst the IDU (injecting drug use) community and utilise these avenues to disseminate harm reduction messages to the wider populace. OPAM targets opioid users and as the name indicates; has a special emphasis on over dose prevention and how to respond if a peer would go over. Aboriginal Engagement Worker: WASUA now has a full time Aboriginal Engagement worker who is able to connect with other services and peers through working where advocacy, education and support is needed. Our engagement worker works both at the WASUA NSEP and also does outreach.

Consumer Advocacy: WASUA advocates on illicit drug issues within the health, AOD and community sectors, at key policy, and other forums and on relevant interest groups. Outreach: We offer street based mobile support, information and peer education on drug using harm reduction strategies. Services at a glance: • Health Clinic – Testing for BBV’s & STI’s, Pre and Post Test Counselling, Hepatitis A & B Vaccinations and Flu shots • Hepatitis C Education and Support • Fixed Site & Mobile Needle and Syringe Exchange • Safe Disposal Education • Peer Education and Training • Treatment Support and Referral • Aboriginal Engagement Worker • Pharmacotherapy Advocacy • Drug User Advocacy • Training Tailored to the AOD, Health and Community Sector • Street Based Outreach




Van Phone 0417 973 089 Office (08) 9791 6699 or (08) 9721 1449

(08) 9321 2877 Perth NSEP Mon - Weds: 10am-4pm Thurs - Fri: 10am-8pm Sat & Sun: 10am-12pm

Clinic Hours Tues & Thurs: 10am-4pm Closed Public Holidays

WASUA provides a number of services on premises at 519 Murray Street, West Perth, including: • • • • • • • • •

NSEP (Needle and Syringe Exchange Program) Free hep A and B vaccinations for hepatitis C positive people Free blood testing in a friendly confidential environment Drug treatment support and referral Peer education and training Street-based outreach Advocacy and support for users Safe injecting and safe disposal education and resources Hepatitis C/blood-borne virus information and resources

Photography by Felicia Bradley. Copyright © 2013.

South West Mobile provides a mobile Needle Syringe Exchange Program (NSEP) at the following locations and times: Margaret River Busselton Donnybrook Manjimup Jaycee Park, Bunbury Hudson Road, Bunbury Bunbury Hospital Harvey Collie

Tuesday: 12pm-1pm Tuesday: 5pm-7pm Wednesday: 9am-10am Wednesday: 12pm-1pm Wednesday: 4:30pm-5:30pm Wednesday: 6pm-7pm Wednesday: 7:15-9:15pm Thursday: 7-8pm Thursday: 9-11pm

Hospital Carpark Hospital Carpark Hospital Carpark Hospital Carpark Community Health Carpark Dental Clinic Carpark Hospital Carpark Hospital Carpark

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013





inisters of Health and global health advocates from across the world yesterday committed to prioritising viral hepatitis as an urgent public health issue at a meeting at the 66th World Health Assembly. Coordinated by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the World Hepatitis Alliance, the meeting, titled ‘Viral Hepatitis: Addressing the Challenge of the 21st Century’ saw a renewal of the commitment that Health Ministers first made at the 2010 World Health Assembly, when they passed resolution WHA63.18. Speaking as the meeting came to a close, Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance explained “It has been three years since the World Health Assembly passed a resolution on viral hepatitis and recognized for the first time the serious global threat that hepatitis B and C pose to the international community. While progress has been made, much more still needs to be done if we are to prevent the death toll from hepatitis, which is already the same as from HIV/ AIDS, rapidly overtaking it. I am delighted that so many Ministries attended this meeting today and that we achieved a major new consensus to accelerate the global response to viral hepatitis.” The meeting, which took part alongside the World Health Assembly, saw Ministers and global advocates share best practices in public policy, and resulted in Member States committing to hold a summit in November to coordinate a global effort tackling all aspects of viral hepatitis, 22

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013

from awareness and prevention through to diagnosis and access to affordable medicine. The development is welcomed by patient groups the world over, who have long been calling for more action to address hepatitis. Although viral hepatitis is responsible for 1.5 million deaths every year and is the 8th leading cause of death worldwide, viral hepatitis has none of the profile, funding or awareness needed to tackle such a global public health threat. “With a mortality rate as high as that of HIV/AIDS, it really is incomprehensible that viral hepatitis has such low awareness and priority” said Mr Gore. To highlight the effects of this, WHO (World Health Organisation) in collaboration with the World Hepatitis Alliance has commissioned the Viral Hepatitis: Prevention & Control Global Policy report, to assess the existing national responses to hepatitis. The report, due for release on World Hepatitis Day (July 28th) this year, is expected to show that with a few notable exceptions, the global response to hepatitis still lacks focus, sophistication or cohesion across national borders. For this reason, it is of great significance that WHO Member States from across all six world regions have come together to challenge the current low priority of viral hepatitis, instill a sense of urgency in other global actors and ensure that from now on initiatives aimed at tackling public global health threats include viral hepatitis. ENDS

HEPATITISWA Newsletter // June 2013


HepatitisWA Newsletter (June 2013)  

The HepatitisWA Newsletter is a quarterly publication; with each edition we endeavour to capture new developments in hep C treatment, manage...