What’s new in HIV and hep C? An update for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers

Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM), June 2019

This Deadly Sex Update webinar provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and community workers with an introduction and the latest news in hepatitis C and HIV.

The information presented supports health workers to discuss key messages with clients and the community around hep C and HIV, including testing, prevention, current treatments and management.

Presenter: Dr Darren Russell, Director of Cairns Sexual Health.
Presented on: Monday 10 June 2019

What’s new in HIV and hep C? An update for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. Dr Darren Russell, June 2019 from ASHM on Vimeo.

Hepatitis C – Peer insights on barriers and motivators to Direct-Acting Antiviral (DAA) treatment uptake

ARCSHS, 2018

The knowledge and experience of people who inject drugs (PWID) within peer programs is a vital asset to strategies for the scale-up of DAA treatment among PWID (Brown and Reeders, 2016). This study is focused on translating these “real time” peer insights into resources that support policy and programs to tailor to the needs of communities of people who inject.

This tailoring is critical to achieving the goal of eliminating hepatitis C. This broadsheet is the first of a series that will be produced over the duration of the project. This series will present current peer insights from the peer workers and other members of the people who inject community on the access to and uptake of the new hepatitis C treatment.

This broadsheet provides background to the study and presents an overview of the attitudes, beliefs and experiences of PWID related to the access and scale-up of direct acting antiviral treatment among this community.

A research project by the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society in collaboration with peer-based organisations – Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, NSW Users and AIDS Association and Harm Reduction Victoria.

Australia’s Annual Report Card on STIs and blood-borne viruses

Kirby Institute, Monday, 6 November 2017

Gonorrhoea and syphilis diagnoses are increasing in Australia, HIV is stable, and more than 30,000 Australians have been cured of hepatitis C, according to the latest Annual Surveillance Report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in Australia, released today by the Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney.

The latest data shows that gonorrhoea has increased by 63% over the past five years, with particular rises among young heterosexual people in major cities.

Among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, chlamydia and gonorrhoea rates were three and seven times higher than in the non-Indigenous population and the gaps were greater in regional and remote areas. Since 2011, there has been a resurgence of infectious syphilis among young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in regional and remote areas of Northern Australia.

The report shows that HIV diagnoses have remained stable in Australia for the past five years, with 1,013 new diagnoses in 2016. However, gaps in testing remain, particularly among heterosexual people.  The report indicates that HIV diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have increased by 39% since 2012, with a greater proportion of diagnoses due to injecting drug use and heterosexual sex, compared to non-Indigenous populations.

Between March and December 2016, an estimated 30,434 people have been cured of hepatitis C due to the availability of new direct acting antiviral therapy for hepatitis C.  The report also shows that only 63% of the estimated 230,000 people living with chronic hepatitis B in Australia by the end of 2016 were diagnosed. Of those, only 27% were having appropriate clinical monitoring tests for their infection. But a decline in hepatitis B diagnoses is evident in younger Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people, and newly diagnosed cases in the the non-Indigenous population remained stable.

Hepatitis C cure leads to improved quality of life

hivandhepatitis.com, 23 October 2017

 People who were cured of hepatitis C with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) had sustained improvements in their health-related quality of life, including both physical and mental health measures, according to study results presented at the 2017 AASLD Liver Meeting this week in Washington, DC.

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.

Australian Health Organisations refute Cochrane Review Report and affirm efficacy of DAA therapy for hepatitis C

Joint position statement, Australia, June 2017

This joint Position Statement aims to strongly refute and reject the findings of the Cochrane Review report titled Direct-acting antivirals for chronic hepatitis C, published by the Cochrane Hepato‐Biliary Group on 6 June 2017.

The Position Statement was prepared by the expert panel who published a Consensus Statement for Australian recommendations for the management of hepatitis C for virus infection representing the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Australian Liver Association), the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, the Australasian Hepatology Association, Hepatitis Australia and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The organisations above developed this position statement to urge health practitioners and patients not to be swayed by this flawed report claiming new direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) for hepatitis C do not save lives.