COVID-19 and viral hepatitis FAQs  in English, Korean, Chinese

Hepatitis NSW, May 2020

Since the COVID-19 virus is so new and can be life threatening, there are many unknown factors at play. This is even more so for people with pre-existing health conditions to consider. To help address those concerns and to answer the frequently asked questions, Hepatitis NSW has now compiled a number of online resources. 

All pages are based on the most up to date information and will be updated frequently.

 

New COVID Taskforce website from ASHM

ASHM, UPDATED ON: 14 April 2020

ASHM’s Taskforce on BBVs, Sexual Health and COVID-19 was established on 20 March 2020. It provides a timely opportunity for the BBV and sexual health sectors to discuss the scientific, clinical, BBV and sexual health service delivery and social implications of COVID-19, and provides consistent and evidence-based messaging to the health workforce, sector partners and community.

The website contains interim recommendations on:

  • adults living with HIV
  • adults living with chronic hepatitis B.
  • adults living with hepatitis C, or the complications of previous hepatitis C infection
  • people who are incarcerated in criminal justice settings during the COVID-19 pandemic including those who are living with HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

 

Nurse Practitioner (s100) Prescribing Change

Hepatitis Australia, 3 April 2020

Hepatitis Australia warmly welcomes recent changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) allowing authorised Nurse Practitioners to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C medicines under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program.

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are under-treated and without improvement in a range of areas Australia risks falling short of agreed national and global viral hepatitis elimination goals. Expanded access to timely treatment and care is a critical component of the national response.

This important development acknowledges the clinical expertise of Nurse Practitioners and the therapeutic relationships they develop and maintain with highly stigmatised and often vulnerable populations.

Under previous arrangements, authorised Nurse Practitioners were able to prescribe treatments for hepatitis B and hepatitis C under the PBS General Schedule (s85). Where Nurse Practitioners were available in primary care services, this arrangement enhanced access to antiviral therapies in community settings.

From 1 April 2020, authorised Nurse Practitioners are also able to prescribe hepatitis B and hepatitis C treatments under the Highly Specialised Drugs (s100) Program. This matters because some people are not able to access primary care settings. The change therefore improves the availability of treatment for vulnerable populations such as people living in remote and regional areas, people experiencing homelessness, and people in custodial settings.

Hepatitis Australia congratulates the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for recommending this important change, and we thank our colleagues at ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine) for their leadership in this matter.

Community members in need of more information about hepatitis B and hepatitis C may wish to contact 1800 437 222 (1800 HEP ABC). This National Hepatitis Infoline directs callers to the community-based hepatitis organisation in the relevant state or territory.

ASHM’s “Find a Prescriber” function helps community members find a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner who has attended ASHM’s hepatitis training. People can also speak to their GP about treatment.

https://ashm.org.au/news/pbac-endorse-np-prescribing-for-hepatitis-b-hepatitis-c-and-hiv-medicines/

and

http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/news/2020/04/authorised-nurse-practitioners-now-eligible-to-prescribe

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The above information was found here 

Gaps And Policy Barriers To Engagement With The HIV Cascade Of Care

Identifying and Plugging the Leaks: Gaps And Policy Barriers To Engagement With The HIV Cascade Of Care

CTAC (Canadian Treatment Action Council), 2018

This project explored what issues impact engagement by people living with HIV with healthcare in Ontario. The goal was to identify policy issues that impact treatment access for people living with HIV, and to identify opportunities to make the healthcare system more accessible.

The HIV Cascade of Care is a useful description of the different steps that a person living with HIV will need to take in order to achieve an undetectable viral load and optimal health outcomes, from infection and diagnosis through to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) initiation and viral suppression.

We know people drop out of the HIV Cascade of Care – e.g. why those starting treatment don’t stay on it. By seeking out policy barriers and developing solutions we can enable people to live long, healthy, and happy lives.

The project has five recommendations around barriers to engagement in the HIV Cascade of Care.

Download report here

 

Anchorage Statement: Indigenous Peoples and Viral Hepatitis

2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis, August 2017

The Anchorage Statement is a statement on Indigenous Peoples and Viral Hepatitis, which was prepared by Indigenous peoples globally who attended the 2nd World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Viral Hepatitis held in Anchorage Alaska in August 2017.

The Anchorage Statement sets out the aspirations of Indigenous peoples globally in ensuring that they are not a population left behind in global efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis by the year 2030.  The statement is timely for Australia as the Commonwealth Government are embarking on the development of a new set of national strategies addressing viral hepatitis, HIV and STIs and the 5th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander STI and BBV Strategy.  Those who have prepared the statement ask you consider the actions and principles embedded in the Anchorage Statement, and hope you or your organisation can contribute to the global efforts of elimination of viral hepatitis.

Feel free to post the Anchorage Statement to social media, websites and or discuss in staff meetings within your own organisation.

Australia leads the world in hepatitis C treatment – what’s behind its success?

The Conversation, July 31, 2017 4.05pm AEST

The World Health Organisation recently set ambitious goals for the “elimination of hepatitis C as a major public health threat”. These included having 80% of people treated and an 80% reduction in the spread of the virus by 2030. Given there are around 70 million people infected with hep C worldwide, only 20% diagnosed, and no effective vaccine, the task ahead is enormous.

But Australia is impressively heading towards these targets and may present a model for other countries to adopt. A recent report by the Kirby Institute estimated Australia was on track to eliminate hepatitis C by 2026 – four years earlier than the WHO goal.