NSW: Drug Injection Fuelling Hep C Epidemic
Australian Associated Press (AAP);
Specialist Robert Batey of Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital reports in the Medical Journal of Australia that each year, there are an estimated 11,000 new hepatitis C infections in Australia. Batey noted that the increased rate of infection is due primarily to injection drug use and the lack of an available and effective treatment. He calls for a boost in spending and research to find a suitable vaccine against what the Australian National Council on AIDS Hepatitis C and Related Diseases calls the most commonly notified communicable disease in the country, with 91 percent of new infections being directly linked to shared needles. In a recent report by the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, it was found that Australia still has much maturing to do in order to deal with the disease without discrimination, even among healthcare workers.