South Australia has the lowest rate in the country, for monitoring for people with chronic hepatitis B. Less than two per cent of affected South Australians receive the regular check-ups they need.
It has been shown, and is now widely accepted, that there is no such thing as a hepatitis B "healthy carrier". People with chronic hepatitis B who are not at the stage where treatment is required, nonetheless need regular monitoring.
Video Advice for GPs on monitoring chronic hepatitis B
SA Health has produced a video highlighting the importance of regular monitoring for people living with chronic hepatitis B. The video features interviews with specialist health professionals explaining the need for regular check-ups and the process by which people can access that monitoring.
An estimated 14,400 South Australians live with chronic hepatitis B and of these only 2.9 per cent are receiving treatment.
Hepatitis B treatment is given only at particular phases of infection, so not everyone with hepatitis B needs treatment. However, experts say at least 15 per cent of people living with chronic should be receiving treatment at any given time. The 2.9 per cent receiving treatment in SA is well below that estimate. It is also significantly lower than the national average of 5.3 per cent.
The rates of monitoring for people with chronic hepatitis B and not on treatment, in all states and territories are: Victoria - under 25%, New South Wales - 20%, Northern Territory - 15%, Queensland - 10%, Australian Capital Territory - 10%, Western Australia - under 5%, Tasmania - 2.5%, South Australia - under 2%.
Source: Hep B Mapping Report: Estimates of chronic hep B diagnosis, monitoring & treatment by medicare local, Aust Society for HIV Medicine; Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Library, The Doherty Institute.