Drug use continues to be a barrier to accessing treatment for hepatitis C infection.
A mistrust of the health system and ongoing stigma from health workers against injecting drug users are two significant barriers that could prevent people living with hepatitis C from accessing and continuing life-saving treatment, according to a new report by UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health.
The Annual Report of Trends in Behaviour Supplement 2016 on viral hepatitis, released today at the 10th Australasian Viral Hepatitis 2016 Conference, found some sections of the community are unaware that a cure is now available for hepatitis C.
The report, which also examines risks factors, attitudes and knowledge regarding hepatitis B, highlighted that about one third of people living with the diseases are yet to be diagnosed and only 6% have been treated.
A survey of 416 Australians, who acquired hepatitis C through use of non-sterile injecting equipment, found experiencing discrimination from health workers lessened their likelihood of engaging in future treatment.
UNSW Professor Carla Treloar, Director of the Centre for Social Research, said with record numbers of people in 2016 seeking new hepatitis C treatments, the impact of stigma as a treatment barrier was now clearer.
Read Full Article: Record numbers accessing hepatitis C treatment, but who is missing out?
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