Hepatitis ACT works with many different communities in Canberra to raise awareness of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Many culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities know about the effects of viral hepatitis, but there is new information that can save lives.
We have successful projects so-far reaching out to people from 43 cultural and linguistic groups. Our CALD Community Education project officer speaks five languages fluently, and we have information resources in 40 different languages. We have directly worked with Canberra’s Chinese, Philippine, Burmese, South Sudanese, Italian, and Spanish community associations, and we have conducted sessions with groups from Canberra’s Tamil and Indonesian communities.
A key partnership for Hepatitis ACT is with NAVITAS, where hepatitis education sessions are provided to English language students from settlement communities in the ACT.
Hepatitis ACT are always looking to help more people from CALD communities in Canberra to find the latest information about viral hepatitis testing, treatments and cure.
The hepatitis B virus causes liver disease. Long term hepatitis B infection, or chronic hepatitis B, affects 240,000 people in Australia. Untreated chronic hepatitis B infection can cause severe and deadly liver disease including cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
The virus can harm the liver for many years without making a person feel sick. Because of this, around half of the people in Australia who have chronic hepatitis B do not know it. There are treatments available that can stop hepatitis B liver disease from getting worse. Only one in 20 people with hepatitis B are taking these treatments. Hepatitis ACT wants to help people with hepatitis B to use these treatments to stay healthy.
There is also a vaccine available that can protect people from the hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B is a blood borne virus that can be passed on from mother to child and also through unprotected sexual contact.
There is social stigma associated with hepatitis B, which can stop people seeking testing, treatment, and care. Even within CALD communities familiar with hepatitis B, levels of knowledge can be out of date.
People who think they may be affected by hepatitis B should get a blood test to see if they need treatment or vaccination. We need people to know that hepatitis B need not be a death sentence.
There is also now a cure for hepatitis C, available in Australia, easy to take, quick, and 95% effective.
Contact Hepatitis ACT on (02) 6230 6344 or go to www.hepatitisACT.com.au for accurate and up to date information on hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing, treatment, prevention and care.