Plan to reduce hepatitis C in NSW by 2028

·1-min read

Within six years NSW Health hopes to dramatically reduce the incidence of hepatitis C, a disease which disproportionately affects Indigenous people.

In 2019 the notification rate for hepatitis C was 11 times higher in the Indigenous compared with the rest of the population.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said a new strategy launched on Wednesday centred on prevention, testing, treatment and addressing any stigma associated with the disease.

"The strategy aims to reduce hepatitis C infections by 60 per cent, decrease the number of deaths linked to hepatitis C, remove the stigma linked to the virus and increase testing and treatment," Dr Chant said.

More than seven in 10 people living with hepatitis C in Australia have reported experiencing stigma and discrimination, which can be a barrier to seeking treatment.

The virus which affects the liver is spread when the blood of an infected person enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person.

More than 95 per cent of hepatitis C sufferers can be cured with oral medication but without treatment they develop serious liver disease.

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