Welcome to the April 2022 edition of the Hepatitis Australia News.

We hope that regardless of what you celebrate, the upcoming public holidays will provide you with time to relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Please note that Hepatitis Australia offices will be closed between 15-26 April.

In this edition of the newsletter you will find:

Welcome Sarah Ahmed – Executive Officer Hepatitis ACT

Hepatitis Australia would like to wish a warm welcome to the new Executive Officer of Hepatitis ACT, Sarah Ahmed.

We reached out to Sarah to find out a little bit more about her:

Tell us a little about yourself - where have you come from and what are you known for?

I grew up in India and moved to Darwin when I was 20, where I lived for the next 10 years. I have qualifications in Business Administration and spent the first few years of my life working in Human Resources in various industries. In 2018, I decided to move into the Community Services sector, which coincided with a move to Canberra, and I have loved every minute so far! Those who know me well will tell you that I am a "fixer". I love getting things done! Just hand me a coffee and I am on it :)

What drew you to the role?

This role combined my expertise in operational leadership with my passion for advocacy and service delivery. I researched the organisation's values and vision and it seemed like the perfect match!

What are you most excited about in taking on this new position?

I am new to the STIBBV sector so there is a lot to learn and I am lucky to be surrounded by peers with extensive knowledge and experience. I am very excited to learn more and build on the amazing work Hepatitis ACT has done so far.

Do you have a party trick?

I can make myself disappear and go home to bed!

Save the date

Save the date: Third National Hepatitis Elimination Forum

Following great success over the last two years, Hepatitis Australia will be holding the Third National Hepatitis Elimination Forum on 23 and 24 November 2022. We encourage all state and territory hepatitis organisation staff to block out these dates in your calendars.

New Hepatitis Australia postal address

We have updated our postal address to be closer to our office. Please update your records to the following address:

PO Box 120
Deakin West ACT 2600

Invitation to peer workers and people who draw on their lived experience of hepatitis B and hepatitis B in service delivery

Hepatitis Australia and the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) are hosting a panel session on peer worker experiences of stigma as part of the 13th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference to be held in Brisbane from 29-31 May 2022.

Expressions of interest to contribute to and/or participate in the session are sought from staff in State and Territory Hepatitis Organisations who are peer workers or people who draw on their lived experience of viral hepatitis in service delivery.

There are a number of ways to participate in this important conference session which seeks to elevate discussion about workforce experiences of stigma including: as a speaker on the panel; contributing to pre-recorded media for the session; or, writing details of your experience to be read by another peer.

Hepatitis Australia is able to provide some assistance for session participants to attend the conference if they would otherwise be unable to attend. People interested in participating are requested to speak with their employer (CEO or delegate) in the first instance prior to completing the Expression of Interest form below by Friday 22 April 2022. Further details on the session can be found by clicking the link below.

Website Launch: VitalvoicesofhepC.org – Personal stories of treatment for hepatitis C

Vital voices: Personal stories of treatment for hepatitis C is a brand-new website presenting personal experiences of hepatitis C, treatment and cure in the elimination era. The website includes 50 detailed individual stories of hepatitis C treatment drawn from qualitative interviews conducted with people affected by hepatitis C in New South Wales and Victoria.

Presented in a range of formats – video re-enactments, original audio recordings and text extracts – the website uses participants’ own words to explore complex issues relating to testing and diagnosis, life after cure and the importance of family and friends.

Vital voices will be launched at the Viral Hepatitis 2022 Conference. Hear from the research team that developed it and a range of guest speakers such as Bernie Hobbs (science writer and broadcaster) and Sione Crawford (Harm Reduction Victoria) who will reflect on Vital voices and its significance.

Event: Stigma, the Law and BBVs

  • Date: Friday 1 April 2022
  • Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm Australian Eastern Standard Time
  • Organiser: UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health

Spotlight on Stigma is an occasional seminar series presented by the UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health, which explores the cutting-edge of stigma science, policy and practice. The seminars draw on insights from national and international experts with the aim of building awareness and skills in the use of stigma concepts and evidence.

In the fifth seminar of the series, speakers Paul Kidd, Dylan O’Hara and Kate Seear, and facilitator Carla Treloar look to a key structural aspect of stigma in the BBV sector – the law. The panel of speakers will interrogate how laws can both generate and reduce stigma and provide insights from research, legal practice and community perspectives.

Save the Date: Australian Stigma Conference

As part of AIVL’s 30-year celebration, they will be hosting the inaugural Australian Stigma Conference, to be be held in the Great Hall at the Australian Parliament House on 17 November 2022.

The conference will bring together AIVL’s Network of Peers, Policy Makers and Health Professionals to engage in dialogue about all things stigma. Pen the date in your diary and follow AIVL on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

New article: A call for advocacy and patient voice to eliminate hepatitis B virus infection

  • Authors: Philippa C Matthews, Kathryn Jack, Su Wang, Jane Abbott, Kathleen Bryce, Benny Cheng, et al.
  • Published April 2022
  • Journal: The Lancet

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is estimated to affect around 300 million individuals worldwide, but has been neglected by health-care provision, education, research, and policy. In light of the WHO goal to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, there is an urgent need for enhanced advocacy for HBV. Organisations representing and led by individuals with tuberculosis, HIV, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection have set a precedent for the provision of infrastructure, education, peer support, fundraising, and advocacy, often with support from large international donors. Parallel examples of advocacy for HBV are scarce, highlighted by a patient describing the HBV community as “the forgotten people”. Enhanced interdisciplinary action, which can have far-reaching benefits, is urgently needed to promote and diversify representation of people with lived experience of HBV infection. The authors convened an interdisciplinary group to gather evidence and set out a framework for action, considering the challenges and barriers to engagement, and reflecting on the need for patient voices to drive progress.

Hepatitis Australia has recently begun establishing a National Policy Forum for People with Lived Experience of Hepatitis B, recognising this issue. In February, this Forum was represented at the Parliamentary event - We Can Eliminate Hepatitis B. In May, Hepatitis Australia will support people with lived experience to attend the VH2022 Conference.


*This article is freely available but requires users to create a free account to access it.

ASHM Training courses

ASHM regularly delivers practical, high quality workforce education for healthcare providers in HIV, viral hepatitis, STIs and more. Their education is short, interactive, delivered by expert clinicians and suitable for GPs, nurses and a range of other care providers, including AOD workers.

ASHM workforce education is free-of-charge to participants and (where applicable) accredited for CPD through relevant professional bodies such as RACGP, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), Australian College of Nursing and Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA).

New COVID-19 Resource from Healthdirect

Hepatitis Australia is a Healthdirect partner and supports their mission to provide trusted health information to Australians.

Healthdirect Australia have recently launched new resources to assist people with questions about COVID-19 as the situation continues to change. COVID Clarity is their latest campaign, which provides information on what to do if you or someone in your home has to isolate, gets symptoms or tests positive. We encourage you to share this with your networks:


Hepatitis Australia