Sydney Local Health District is encouraging local communities to come back to their doctors and resume their critical liver health checks. “Now is the time to take care of ourselves and look after your liver health. If you are living with chronic hepatitis B, getting tested and finding whether you have hepatitis B is part of it. Without treatment, chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer. Postponing your hepatitis B test may delay life-saving treatment,” said Barbara Luisi, Director of Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub.
The Are you living with hepatitis B? Find Out. Get Tested campaign developed by the Diversity Programs and Strategy Hub encourages people from diverse communities to get tested for hepatitis B and look after their liver health. Starting May 2nd, the month-long state-wide campaign across ethnic newspaper, radio and social media campaign aims to raise awareness of hepatitis B testing and treatment across the Arabic-speaking, Chinese-speaking, Korean, Sub-Saharan African, and Vietnamese communities living in NSW.
In Australia, it is estimated 230,154 people are living with chronic hepatitis B, with less than 10% receiving treatment (Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity report 2019). It is estimated 296 million people are living with hepatitis B in the world, with nearly 90% of them unaware that they are infected (World Health Organization report 2019). Therefore, a large proportion of Australians living with chronic hepatitis B are still undiagnosed, with a large representation of affected people being born overseas.
“We are encouraging community members to ask their doctor about hepatitis B and book their hepatitis B tests. Testing is free if you have a Medicare card. If you don’t have a Medicare Card, most NSW Health Sexual Health Clinics can be a free option. In Australia, all conversations with your doctor remain private,” Ms Luisi said.
Visit our multilingual Hepatitis B Testing Options Page for more information. A multilingual resource toolkit, which includes the campaign digital and hard copy resources is available on the campaign webpage.