Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient

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Get the facts

Most Hepatitis C can now be cured with a 12-week course of tablets. If you think you're at risk, ask for a test.

What is Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis (or 'Hep') C is a blood-borne infection that damages the liver and causes liver cancer.

Because Hep C often doesn't have any symptoms, many people with Hep C don't know they have it.

Most people with Hep C have not been treated.

Most Hep C can now be cured with a 12-week course of tablets which have very few side effects. They have a greater than 95 per cent cure rate.

The World Health Organisation has set a target for viral hepatitis to be eliminated by 2030. That's why it's even more important to spread the word about Hep C and make sure that everyone that is at risk of infection gets a blood test.

Should I get tested for Hep C?

People who are at risk and should be tested include:

  • people who have ever injected drugs;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities;
  • people born overseas in high prevalence and high disease burden countries and regions including Egypt, Pakistan, China, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America;
  • people who have received unsafe tattooing and/or body piercing;
  • gay and bisexual men who have HIV;
  • people with bleeding disorders;
  • children born to women with hepatitis C;
  • other people with hepatitis C who may not be engaged in clinical care such as war veterans and people who use performance and image enhancing drugs; 
  • people with significant psychiatric illness.

The Austin Health Rapid Access Hepatitis C Treatment Service

Austin Health is leading the way in treating people in our community with Hepatitis C. We have now cured over 1000 people since the exciting new Hep C medications became available.

If the patient is covered by Medicare, all Hepatitis C medication and treatment through Austin Health is free of charge.

Our new Rapid Access to Hepatitis C Treatment Service aims to improve access to treatment, particularly for those who are socially disadvantaged or those from ethnic minorities.

We have a well-established outreach clinic running at Banyule Community Health Centre and we have just opened a new outreach clinic in Wallan to further enable community-based treatment. Together with the existing services available at Austin Hospital, we are working towards the government target to eliminate Hep C by 2030.

 

Rapid access means:

  • Same day response if you contact us in business hours
  • If treatment is required we will commence it within 30 days
  • We will keep face-to-face appointments to a minimum, but support services are available if required.
  • We will monitor progress by phone.
  • Patients can self-refer 
  • We will post medications to the patient.

How to refer to the Hep C Outreach Clinic

Contact our liver nurses to refer to the Hep C Treatment Service:

Phone or text: 0481 909 741
Fax: (03) 9496 2732
Email: livernurses@austin.org.au 

Any health professional can refer to the rapid access Hepatitis C treatment service - you do not have to be a GP.