If you are living with the hepatitis C virus there has never been a better time to start treatment and get cured. Before 2016, many people with hep C avoided interferon treatment due to the lengthy treatment time, low cure rate and highly unpleasant side effects. All that has changed now with the arrival of new, very effective treatments that are available – and affordable – to adults in Australia with a Medicare number.
Unlike the previous Interferon treatment, the new direct acting antiviral treatments are very effective (95%+ cure rate) with no, or minimal, side effects and is taken in tablet form daily for between 8-12 weeks (although may need to be taken longer if cirrhosis or other liver disease is present).
In most cases, assessment and treatment can now be made through a family doctor or GP. Prescriptions can be collected from community chemists. Even if cirrhosis or liver disease is present, and treatment needs to be monitored through a Liver Clinic, the process is much easier than before.
Thousands of people across Australia have taken this opportunity to cure their hep C – they generally report greater levels of energy and improved wellbeing once they have completed treatment.