Public health information

Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) are blood-borne viruses that affect the liver. Hepatitis B is also sexually transmissible.

NSW Health are working to reduce HBV and HCV infections in NSW and improve the health outcomes of people living with hepatitis in NSW.

Treatment

Medicines for the treatment of hepatitis C are available under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and have a cure rate of greater than 90 per cent.

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Everyone living with chronic hepatitis B should be receiving ongoing care. There are a number of drugs used to treat hepatitis B which are available via prescription from a hospital pharmacy or your local chemist.

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Strategies

The NSW Hepatitis B Strategy 2014-2020 and the NSW Hepatitis C Strategy 2014‑2020 outline key actions and targets to be achieved in NSW and describe how the NSW public system will work with general practitioners, non‑government organisations, community organisations, researchers and affected communities to form a coordinated response to hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

Data and resources

Data reports have been developed to monitor progress against the key actions and targets outlined in the NSW Hepatitis B Strategy 2014-2020 and the NSW Hepatitis C Strategy 2014‑2020.

Reports on the progress of implementation of the strategies, including 6-monthly data reports and annual snapshots are available.

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Prevention

The best way to protect yourself from hepatitis B is to get vaccinated and by adopting safe sex practices.

You can also avoid hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other infections by not sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment.

The NSW Needle and Syringe Program is an evidence-based public health program that aims to reduce the sharing of injecting equipment among people who inject drugs by 25% by 2020.

Testing

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are detected by blood test. Testing is easy and confidential, and available at many places: GPs, Family Planning Clinics, Aboriginal Medical Services, and Sexual health clinics.

Dried Blood Spot (DBS) testing is a HIV home test, which also offers a hepatitis C test for people who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or people who have ever injected a drug. For further information please go to the DBS testing website.

More information on hepatitis testing:

Are you aware that 80% of people who inject drugs have experienced discrimination in health care settings? Stigma, Discrimination and Drug Use. New HETI eLearning module available to NSW Health Staff. Click here to participate in training. 
Page Updated: Tuesday 27 March 2018
Contact page owner: Centre for Population Health