Professor Margaret Hellard
Health experts are calling for rapid testing to be extended to people at risk of having hepatitis.
Burnet Institute’s Head of the Centre for Population Health, Professor Margaret Hellard was one of the presenters at Hepatitis Victoria’s breakfast seminar today.
Professor Hellard said the ‘one stop shop’ approach means that people can avoid the agony of a long wait for results as well as getting on-the-spot support and advice on how to reduce the risk of transmission.
“This approach can involve more convenient and less intimidating tests such as dried blood spot testing where a single sample can be used to test for different diseases. Rapid testing is already being used for HIV by PRONTO! in Melbourne,” she said.
“In Philadelphia USA, alternative sampling and rapid testing is offered out of a bus. Test It Berlin, aimed at homosexual men and drug users, offers rapid testing and counselling for Hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis from mobile units at different locations, all funded by the German lottery.”
Also speaking at the breakfast was Alfred Health and St Vincent’s hospital gastroenterologist, Dr David Iser, Dr Frances Bramwell and Emily Carey from Health Works and Craig Burgess from PRONTO!, a Melbourne rapid testing HIV clinic.