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19 May 2010
Sydney, Austraila

Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler on Wednesday launched new national strategies for Hepatitis B and C to coincide with World Hepatitis Day.

The strategies will provide a framework to reinvigorate the nation’s efforts to prevent new cases of Hepatitis B and C over the next four years. They also provide an action plan to better support and care for people already living with these conditions.

“The new national strategies for Hepatitis B and C provide the framework for a unified response that for the first time combines the efforts of the Australian Government, the states and territories, community-based services, and people living with Hepatitis,” Butler said.

The national Hepatitis B strategy is the first strategy in Australia’s history to recognize and respond directly to the unique challenges of the B strain.

These strategies will form an integral part of Australia’s response to sexually transmitted infections and blood borne viruses, and are part of a suite of five national strategies that target sexually transmissible infections and blood borne viruses.

“Importantly, the strategies will also work to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people living with Hepatitis can face in their lives, and recognize that people living with Hepatitis are often the best placed to help reduce its transmission,” Butler said.

The Australian government has committed 17 million Australian dollars (14.5 million U.S. dollars) over four years to continue the Hepatitis C Education and Prevention Initiative.

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