Today marks World Hepatitis Day 2020, an annual event aiming to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, and encourage its prevention, diagnosis and treatment globally. The day coincides with the release of a new report, ‘Winning the Race to Eliminate Hepatitis C’ showing Australia is on track to eliminate the disease by 2030.
The report outlines the progress made by 29 countries worldwide, including Australia, towards eliminating the hepatitis C virus (HCV) over the past three years, reflecting the World Health Organisation’s Global Strategy on Viral Hepatitis to eliminate viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030.
This year, on World Hepatitis Day, Australians are being urged ‘Let’s Talk Hep’ with friends, family or a doctor to increase recognition of the disease, particularly among the thousands of Australians who are unaware they are living with viral hepatitis.
According to Hepatitis Australia, World Hepatitis Day will help Australians build on the momentum and accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C as a health issue.
“Talking about and raising community awareness of new affordable cures for hepatitis C and the importance of vaccinations against hepatitis B and having regular liver health checks will help,” said Hepatitis Australia.
The hepatitis virus includes a number of different strains, with hepatitis B and hepatitis C being the most common in Australia. Hepatitis C is one of few diseases that can actually be cured, with current medication used to treat hepatitis C resulting in a cure for more than 95% of people. Vaccinations for hepatitis B and hepatitis A are safe and effective, and are recommended from childhood.
To find out how you can get involved on World Hepatitis Day, visit worldhepatitisday.org.au.