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Report

National hepatitis B needs assessment

23 Feb 2007
DOI

http://doi.org/10.4225/50/557E5CD90B505
Description

It is estimated that between 90,000 to 160,000 people live with chronic hepatitis B in Australia, yet no nationally coordinated public health response exists. A significant gap in the national response is the documentation of the specific needs of people with chronic hepatitis B and service providers, which this report aims to do. It is estimated that between 90,000 to 160,000 people live with chronic hepatitis B in Australia. More than half of these were born in highly endemic countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Other high-risk groups include people born in other highly endemic regions, and Indigenous people, while a minority of people with chronic hepatitis B are men who have sex with men, and people who inject drugs.

The number of people dying as a result of chronic hepatitis B, and the number of cases of hepatitis B-related liver cancer in Australia are increasing despite improvements in antiviral therapy. The hepatitis B virus is difficult to eradicate and while only a small proportion of people with chronic hepatitis B receive treatment, these treatments are increasingly able to control replication of the virus and reduce liver disease progression.

Unlike the Australian national public health response to reducing the impact of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C upon the community, no nationally coordinated public health response to chronic hepatitis B exists. A significant gap in the national response is the documentation of the specific needs of people with chronic hepatitis B and service providers.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
DOI: 
10.4225/50/557E5CD90B505
Published year only: 
2007
37
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