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Eliminating Hepatitis C: What you need to know

40.00 QI&CPD - Category 1 Point(s) / 30.00 Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine PRPD Points

Eliminating Hepatitis C: What you need to know

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is considered to be a chronic infection when present for more than 6 months. Chronic HCV affects approximately 200,000 individuals in Australia, commonly causing chronic liver disease, which in some cases leads to death, but in many cases can lead to cirrhosis, decompensated disease or liver cancer. Chronic HCV was estimated to be the underlying cause of liver disease in 22% of liver transplants in 2012. Although modelling suggests that the incidence of HCV infection is actually declining (14,000 new infections in 1999 compared with 8500-9000 new infections in 2013), prevalence and overall burden of liver disease is increasing. This is due to the ageing of the population with chronic HCV and suboptimal HCV treatment uptake and outcomes up until 2015.

This Active Learning Module has been approved by the The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners QI&CPD Program.Total Points: 40.00 Point(s) (Category 1)

This activity is approved for 30.00 PRPD Points.


Professor Alexander Thompson,
University of Melbourne
St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria
Associate Professor Stephen Pianko,
Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist
Monash University
Head of Clinical Trials
Monash Health, Melbourne, Victoria
Annie Balcomb,
MB, FRACGP, S100 HBV Prescriber
Part time lecturer, Sydney University,
Orange Rural Medical Campus
Orange, NSW

On completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the burden of HCV disease and its associated complications
  2. Identify and manage patients with HCV using a simple, evidence-based approach
  3. Counsel patients regarding the available treatments, including adverse effects and drug interactions
  4. List the benefits of Sustained Virological Response (SVR) in HCV patients
  5. Distinguish those patients with HCV infection who require referral to specialist services

Associate Professor Stephen Pianko MB, PhD

  1. Talking about HCV risk factors can at times be difficult. Which screening tools would you recommend GPs use to broach the subject of potential risk factors for HCV infection with their patients?
  2. There are those who have suggested that HCV screening and diagnostic tests can be ordered using one pathology form. Are there any circumstances in which you would recommend testing for HCV in this way rather than the two-step process outlined above?
  3. How should GPs decide whether to order transient elastography rather than assessing non-invasive serum markers for their patients with chronic HCV? In which situations would you recommend GPs order both?
  4. What approach should GPs take when deciding which of their chronic HCV patients to treat and which to refer for specialist care?
  5. SVR indicates that patients have been cured from chronic HCV. What are the additional benefits of SVR over and above cure in these patients?
  6. What value do you feel a pan-genotypic treatment regimen for chronic HCV would have in primary care? What role do you feel it could play in the overall paradigm of HCV management?
  7. How can a GP identify a chronic HCV patient who is not ready to commence therapy? What steps can a GP take to address such a patient's treatment readiness?
  8. GPs often work in extremely time-poor environments. What tips can you give to busy GPs who need to manage patients with HCV quickly, without compromising on good patient care?
  9. What role(s) do you believe the GP can play in moving toward WHO HCV elimination goals by 2030?

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