WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018

Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – prevention and education Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – testing and diagnosis Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – disease management and clinical care
Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – workforce development Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – enabling environment Icon: Links to WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – research, evaluation and surveillance

The goals of this strategy are aligned with the goals of the Fourth National Hepatitis C Strategy 2014–2017 (external site), and are:

  • to reduce the transmission of, and morbidity and mortality caused by, hepatitis C
  • to minimise the personal and social impact of the epidemic.

Hepatitis C (Healthy WA) is an important public health issue. If not treated, chronic hepatitis C infection can lead to serious liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and in some cases, liver failure.

In 2014 there were 1,151 notifications for hepatitis C in Western Australia (WA). Of these notifications:

  • 157 were newly acquired (evidence of the disease having been acquired in the 24 months prior to diagnosis)
  • 994 were unspecified (infections of unknown duration).

Download the WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 (PDF 1MB).

Strategic context

The Auckland Statement (external site) on viral hepatitis sets targets to:

  • reduce incidence of new infections
  • ensure that people with hepatitis C are diagnosed
  • guarantee access to treatment for people with hepatitis C.

National strategy

In 2014 the Australian Government Department of Health launched the Fourth National Hepatitis C Strategy 2014–2017 (external site). This strategy provides direction for coordinated action to reduce rates of hepatitis C transmission and increase the number of people receiving treatment for hepatitis C through the following objectives:

  • reducing the incidence of hepatitis C
  • reducing the risk behaviours associated with the transmission of hepatitis C
  • increasing access to appropriate management and care for people with chronic hepatitis C
  • reducing the burden of disease attributed to chronic hepatitis C
  • eliminating the negative impact of stigma, discrimination, legal, and human rights issues on people’s health.

Western Australia

The WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 aligns with the national strategy and the Auckland Statement to address the needs of people living with, and affected by, hepatitis C in WA.

The strategy also follows on from the previous WA Hepatitis C Model of Care Implementation Plan 2010-2014 (PDF 2.7MB) which aimed to direct the implementation of the key recommendations proposed in the Hepatitis C Virus Model of Care (PDF 435KB). Progress made under the previous plan includes:

Priority populations

Particular populations are prioritised within this WA strategy, and include:

  • people living with hepatitis C
  • people who inject drugs
  • Aboriginal people who inject, or have injected, drugs 
  • people in, or who have recently exited, custodial settings
  • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who inject, or have injected, drugs.

With recent new developments in treatment for hepatitis C, and further new treatments on the horizon, there is the potential for significant progress to be made over the course of this strategy in reducing the burden of disease associated with hepatitis C.

Monitoring and evaluation

Progress against the WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 will be collated in the WA Hepatitis C Strategy 2015–2018 – Monitoring and Evaluation Framework. This will be updated regularly.

Other useful sources of data relating to hepatitis C include the:

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