CANBERRA, Nov. 1 (Xinhua) -- Australia remains on track to eliminate hepatitis C by the year 2030 according to Polaris Observatory data showcased at the World Hepatitis Summit in Brazil on Wednesday, but the CEO of Hepatitis Australia said the nation cannot rest on its laurels.
Compared to other countries, Australia has a very high diagnosis rate of hepatitis C, with around three quarters of those with infection aware of their diagnosis, compared to just 44 percent across other first-world nations and just one in five across the world, meaning Australia could be rid of the infection in just over a decade.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Helen Tyrell, CEO of Hepatitis Australia, said that Australia had "set off at a cracking pace" towards eliminating the infection for good, due to the nation's "unrestricted and easy access to treatment," but unless efforts continue to be scaled up, the 2030 target may soon become unattainable.
Tyrell said, Australia will need a "rapid scale-up" of a programs and advertising to help connect all people with hepatitis C to the new cure "while also continuing to prioritize evidence-based prevention."
But while the outlook for Australia eliminating cases of hepatitis C is encouraging, the same can't be said for hepatitis B; Tyrell said Australia must "accelerate" efforts across the board to help eliminate it.