Projects

Eliminate Hepatitis C Australia Partnership

Australia can be one of the first countries to achieve the World Health Organization’s target of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. A key reason for this is that new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medications were made available on the PBS in March 2016 to all people living with hepatitis C, regardless of disease stage. DAAs have revolutionised hepatitis C care: they are highly effective (cure rate of over 95%), have minimal side effects, and require only 8-12 weeks of once-daily tablets.

Whilst Australian states and territories are making efforts to increase the number of people tested and treated for hepatitis C, the response is ad hoc, with many jurisdictions lacking funding and a sufficiently integrated clinical and community service sector to take a cohesive approach to increasing testing and treatment. After nearly two years of treatment availability, the number of people commencing treatment is falling.

To eliminate hepatitis C it is crucial we keep treating people for their hepatitis C and that DAA treatments reach those at risk of transmitting infection to others so we can stop new infections. The EC Australia project will take a multidisciplinary, cohesive and appropriately targets nationwide approach to ensure we sustain high numbers of people accessing hepatitis C treatment to meet our elimination targets.

EC Australia will bring together researchers and implementation scientists, government, health services and community organisations to increase hepatitis C testing and treatment in community clinics. This work will target services that diagnose high numbers of chronic hepatitis C infection and deliver care to high caseloads of people with chronic hepatitis C infection, particularly people from key affected populations: people who inject drugs, people who have injected drugs in the past, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (Indigenous Australians), people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and prisoners.

Aims & Goals of EC Australia

The long term goal of EC Australia is to eliminate hepatitis C as a public health threat by 2030. The Australian public will benefit more broadly form the health system savings that will occur through a targets and cohesive approach to hepatitis C testing and treatment and from the consequent reduction of hepatitis C incidence and prevalence.

  • Ensure that at approximately 15,000 Australians with chronic hepatitis C are treated and cured of their infection annually
  • Ensure that people identified with cirrhosis related to hepatitis C infection are treated and cured, and regularly monitored for liver cancer
  • Establish a national collaborative framework to facilitate a coordinated response to the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health threat from Australia by 2030

Highlights

  • Conduct of a State by State Consultation process to understand current models of care in relation to Hepatitis C Health Promotion, Access and Testing and Treatment
  • In partnership with the Kirby Institute, Burnet Institute and EC Australia has published the first national report on progress towards the elimination of hepatitis C virus in Australia.

Partners and Collaborators

Alfred Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne / Melbourne University, Menzies / Royal Darwin Hospital, University of NSW, University of Queensland, WA Health, Tasmania Statewide Sexual Health Service, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Monash University, Kirby Institute, GESA / Royal Prince Alfred Hospital / University Sydney, Doherty Institute/ Royal Melbourne Health, Centre for Social Research in Health and the Social Policy Research Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Royal Adelaide Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne/University of NSW, East Melbourne Primary Health Care Collaborative, South Australia Health & Medical Research Institute, Kirby Institute, La Trobe University, Princess Margaret Hospital/ Telethonkids, Cairns Sexual Health Service, Kirketon Road Centre/ University of NSW, Doherty Institute, Barwon Health, Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine, Country SA Primary Health Network, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia / VHITTAL committee of the North West Melbourne PHN, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Representative/ You Yangs Medical Clinic, Australian Hepatology Association, Hunter New England Local Health District, Australian Medical Association, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association, Hepatitis Australia, Hepatitis Victoria, Hepatitis NSW, Hepatitis SA, Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council, Hepatitis WA, Hepatitis Queensland, Hepatitis Tasmania, TasCAHRD, Hepatitis ACT, Aboriginal Victoria │ Department of Premier & Cabinet, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, WA Primary Health Alliance/Royal Perth Hospital / Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia, Aboriginal Health Council Danila Dilba Health Service, Aboriginal Health Services TAS, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service, Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, Aboriginal Health Service, Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League, Harm Reduction Victoria, Peer Based Harm Reduction WA, NSW Users and AIDS Association, Queensland Injectors for Advocacy and Action, Tasmanian Users Health and Support League, Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation and Advocacy, NSW Health, Department of Health and Human Services VIC, SA Health, Department of Health and Human Services TAS, ACT Health, Department of Health WA, Department of Health NT and Department of Health QLD.

Timeline

3 years (October 2018 – December 2021)

Funding

Paul Ramsay Foundation

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Contact Details

For any general enquiries relating to this project, please contact:

Doctor Alisa Pedrana

EC Partnership Coordinator, NHMRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Telephone

+61392822225

Email

alisa.pedrana@burnet.edu.au