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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver-attacking viral infection causing over 800,000 deaths globally each year among the 296 million people with chronic infection. Mother-to-child transmission is a major driver of the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Transmission can also occur during sexual intercourse, through unsafe injections, or exposure to sharp instruments. Burnet aims to make a major contribution to the elimination of hepatitis B.

Our main objectives are to:

  • make a major contribution to global efforts to eliminate hepatitis B
  • work towards the World Health Organisation’s global viral hepatitis elimination strategy by addressing diagnosis, delivery of direct-acting antivirals, prevention and vaccine development.

Our research focuses on:

  • developing and maintaining surveillance and clinical monitoring systems that help guide policy, prevention and care responses for hepatitis B in Australia and resource-constrained settings
  • preventing new hepatitis B infections through behavioural and vaccination approaches
  • trialling and implementing novel tools and strategies to deliver best-practice clinical care for hepatitis B
  • enhancing collaborations and partnerships with clinical services, government, community organisations and affected populations to improve the transition of people through hepatitis B care
  • implementing and advocating for harm reduction measures to minimise viral hepatitis transmission and prevent new infections in vulnerable populations
  • developing point-of-care tests for viral hepatitis to determine the priority of treatment in resource-poor settings
  • actively working with community groups to address stigma and discrimination.

Together with research organisations, governments, the community and affected populations, Burnet is working to help change the course of hepatitis B infection and its impact as a public health threat.

36.3 million

is the number of years of life lost to ill health, disability or early death resulting from hepatitis B that could be prevented if the cost-effective ways to improve the delivery and management of the HBV vaccine, as identified in a Burnet study, were to be implemented.


of all people with hepatitis B in Australia are clinically managed. Researchers working with Burnet are investigating why only a fraction of Australians with hepatitis B receive clinical management.


is the number of Australian women attending antenatal or post-partum hepatitis B care who were interviewed by researchers in a Burnet-supported qualitative study exploring their knowledge of hep B and experiences of related care.


Australians were asked about their feelings related to living with hepatitis B in a self-administered questionnaire as part of a Burnet-supported study investigating the concerns and anxieties among people living with chronic hepatitis B.

Working Groups

Burnet is an Australian-based medical research and public health institute and international non-government organisation that is working towards a more equitable world through better health.