Hep C Action Aotearoa
We are calling for the elimination of Hepatitis C in New Zealand by 2025, five years ahead of the WHO target, and the same target date adopted by the United Kingdom. Join us as we embark on a national campaign to raise awareness.
Elimination of hep C now a real possibility
18 December 2018
Hep C Action Aotearoa welcomes the announcement from Pharmac to fund a medicine that will treat hepatitis C. This is great news for New Zealanders who have for years struggled to access funding for their treatment.
There are over 50,000 New Zealanders with hep C, and over 50% of those have no idea that they are infected. People in the baby boomer age group are more at risk because of the less safe procedures around blood products in the past, however Hep C Action Aotearoa recommends everyone gets tested once regardless of risk. Hep C is a blood borne virus that has quite a lot of symptoms, but they appear slowly and can often be put down to other things like “getting old” - here are a few:
Nausea, abdominal pains, weight loss
Fatigue, brain fog, cognitive difficulties
Skin irritations, rashes, itching
Joint pains, headaches
If you experience these symptoms or think you might be at risk talk to your GP about a simple antibody test.
The Butterfly Symbol for Hep C Elimination
The butterfly symbol is like the red ribbon for HIV and intended for global use by anyone working in the broad field of Hepatitis C elimination. There is no cost to use the symbol and the copyright has been assigned to the public domain. It symbolises the transformative effect that antiviral treatment has on patients cured of the disease and the beauty of restoring people to full health again.
The symbol itself came from the imagination of Native American artist Marty2bulls in response to a request from Dr James Freeman for something that combined the butterfly effect with a rainbow.
Free download here.
What's the challenge?
Over 50,000 people are estimated to be infected with Hepatitis C in Aotearoa New Zealand, with half being undiagnosed. This compares to approximately 3,500 people living with HIV in New Zealand.
HepC Action Aotearoa is calling for the elimination of Hepatitis C in New Zealand by 2025, five years ahead of the WHO target, and the same target date adopted by the United Kingdom.
Infection has often occurred through accidental transmission, for example through dental work carried out over 20 years ago, or through incarceration. This has created a human rights issue, including the State’s duty of care that has not been publicly acknowledged.
This highly stigmatised public health issue will be addressed through the normalising of “test and treat” campaign, piloted in prisons, accompanied by a review of the legislation to remove structural barriers to treatment.
Join us as we embark on a national campaign to raise awareness.
How to get involved
Success will depend on key stakeholders coming together to address this hidden health issue. We are calling for:
1. Elimination of HCV by 2025
2. Treatment Equality
3. Government Leadership
4. Public Health Campaign
5. A Collaborative Approach
6. Funding support.
Global butterfly resources
Download the "Old & Tired" Posters
Information for doctors
Information for patients
Call 0800 33 20 10 to speak to nursing staff at the Hepatitis Foundation NZ.
Research and news
Hepatitis C New Zealand Facebook Page- Useful articles
Accelerating action at a national level, NOHep Advocacy toolkit