Treating and Preventing Hepatitis C Inside and Outside Prisons

The high rate of hepatitis C in the prison system is one of the issues that will be discussed at a public hearing in Canberra on Friday 20 March by the House of Representatives Health Committee.

The Committee has heard about the high rates of hepatitis C transmission in prisons, and subsequent transmission to the wider community on the release of infected individuals. Methods to reduce transmission rates in prisons have previously been discussed by organisations and individuals.

Other issues that will be discussed include methods for raising public awareness of hepatitis C and potential options for treatment through general practitioners, nurses and pharmacies, and ways of reducing the stigma associated with a hepatitis C diagnosis.

"It is important that the Committee has a full appreciation of the issues surrounding hepatitis C transmission in prisons, and we look forward to hearing the perspective of the representatives of prison officers from several different jurisdictions. The Committee will also pursue other issues including the role for alternative models of care, such as those provided by nurses and through pharmacies," Committee Chair Steve Irons MP said.

Hearing details:
Friday, 20 March 2015 – 9.00am to 5.00pm
Parliament House, Canberra

The full hearing program and further information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, are available at:

Audio of the hearing will be broadcast live at:


Media release date: 13 February 2015