Sunday, July 28, 2013

World Hepatitis Day: Northern Rivers in New South Wales launches campaign for Hepatitis Awareness

THE NORTHERN Rivers has the third-highest rate of hepatitis C in New South Wales, Australia. This is something that often goes unmentioned in conversation, but during NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week, healthcare professionals are urging people not to keep quiet about seeking treatment or diagnosis. Today July 28 is World Hepatitis Day.

The revamped Lismore Liver Clinic re-opened on Thursday with staff ready to provide testing, counselling and treatment for those living with hepatitis. In the area, two in 100 people are affected by hepatitis B or C and it's great to see Lismore is leading the way with treatment at the new liver clinic. Also it is important to note that fewer than one in 50 people with hepatitis get treated. The purpose of NSW Hepatitis Awareness Week is to let people know having hepatitis B or C doesn't mean you can't manage your health. The longer you leave it, the more damage you are doing. Hepatitis Awareness Week is about "demystifying" hepatitis. People should be made aware that it is just another chronic health problem. There is a lot of stigma and discrimination around hepatitis, but this comes from ignorance. If we can educate people instead, that would be great.


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