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The role of general practitioners in managing and treating hepatitis C

Margaret E Hellard and Yung-Hsuan J Wang
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (10): 523-524.
Published online: 16 November 2009

General practitioners hold the key to expanding access to treatment

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia. More than 200 000 people are estimated to be living with chronic HCV infection, with over 80% of these infections resulting from unsafe injecting drug use. About 10 000 new infections occur annually, although incidence is thought to be declining.1 Following primary HCV infection, persistent viraemia and chronic hepatitis occurs in 50%–80% of patients; after 20 years approximately 7% develop cirrhosis, and a small proportion of these patients develop hepatocellular carcinoma.1

  • Margaret E Hellard1
  • Yung-Hsuan J Wang2

  • Centre for Population Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: hellard@burnet.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

Margaret Hellard receives funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council for a Senior Research Fellowship.

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