Eliminating hepatitis C infection in Victoria through treatment scale up: helping prescribers initiate treatment
Image: Dr Joseph Doyle, Deputy Program Director, Disease Elimination and Professor Margaret Hellard, Deputy Director, Programs
Hepatitis C affects 230,000 people in Australia. Currently, only one to two per cent of people with chronic HCV are treated annually.
In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) set targets to reduce new HCV infections by 80 per cent, reduce deaths due to HCV by 65 per cent, and eliminate HCV as a public health problem by 2030.
With new, effective non-interferon-based treatments, it should be possible for Australia to achieve these elimination targets.
Key to our success in reducing HCV-related deaths and new infections in Australia will be the upscaling of treatment for all people with chronic HCV infection, including those currently transmitting HCV who are chiefly people who inject drugs.
New community-based treatment programs in primary care, drug and alcohol services, and community organisations are being rolled out locally.
The project will aim to explore the supports needed for prescribers to start treatment, and the expectations of people living with HCV from their medical services. The outcomes will help facilitate treatment uptake and improve the quality of care.
The project will involve a mixed method approach using analysis of routinely collected surveillance data, and qualitative data collection with health care providers and people living with HCV infection.
Applicants require a capacity to work autonomously in a field-based setting, and an understanding of the importance of a harm reduction approach to health care.