Lifestyle

A successful cure for a common disease

People are being urged during Hepatitis Week to take a test for the disease.
People are being urged during Hepatitis Week to take a test for the disease. Cathy Adams

ALMOST 400,000 Australians are estimated to be living with hepatitis despite studies indicating cure rates for Hep-C now exceed 75% across the country.

As part of New South Wales Hepatitis Awareness Week, people living with hepatitis B or C are being urged to consider their treatment options.

"Now is the right time for people who may have been living with hepatitis C for years, or even decades, to visit their doctor to get a referral to have their liver health assessed," Hepatitis New South Wales Chief Executive Officer Stuart Loveday said.

"This will help them decide whether they should go onto treatment sooner rather than later.

"With the listing of new treatments on the PBS in April, almost all people in Australia living with hepatitis C have cure rates of around 75 per cent to 80%.

"Treatment is especially important to help reduce the impact of both hepatitis B and hepatitis C on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, a group that is disproportionately affected by both viruses compared to the non-Aboriginal community," Mr Loveday said.

There are estimated to be more than 226,000 people in Australia living with chronic hepatitis C and 170,000 people with chronic hepatitis B.

Chronic hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

About 20% of patients develop cirrhosis within 10 to 20 years of the onset of infection.

Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is one of the most common reasons for liver transplants.

Mid North Coast Local Health District Manager of HIV and Related Programs, Jenny Heslop said there's still a lot of ground to be made even though blood donor screening, Hepatitis B vaccinations and the Needle Syringe Program have minimised rates of transmission.

"Although there are new and effective treatments available for people with hepatitis C available across many centres on the Mid and North Coasts, treatment uptake rates for hepatitis C are very low," Ms Heslop said.

"Not many people in the community know that hepatitis C can be treated and in many cases cured, allowing people to live healthy virus free lives," she said.

Topics:  hepatitis, mid north coast local area health district



Council candidates talk climate change

Members of the Coffs Coast Climate Action Group and local residents call on the CommBank to refuse funding for coal projects.21 MAY 2015Photo Gemima Harvey/Coffs Coast Advocate

COFFS Harbour City Council candidates will discuss climate change

Delicious meals are the real deal

CELEBRATION: Meals on Wheels Sawtell branch chef, Belinda, bakes cupcakes for clients.

MEALS on Wheels is "taking it to the streets”

Milestone for two cultures

HONOURED: Uncle Trevor Wilson attended the flag raising at Fitzroy Barracks.

Flag raising at Fitzroy Barracks serves as big step forward

Latest deals and offers

MOVIE REVIEW: Life on the Road

Ricky Gervais, Ben Bailey Smith and Foregone Conclusion (Steve Clarke, Andy Burrows, Stuart Baxter Wilkinson, Michael Clarke) in a scene from David Brent: Life on the Road.

Ricky Gervais has brought David Brent back to life on the big screen

Jessica Alba wants tequila shots served at her funeral

Businesswoman and actor Jessica Alba

There won't be mourning at this funeral

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m