Deaths from viral hepatitis surpasses HIV/AIDS as preventable cause of deaths in Australia

The analysis was conducted by Dr Benjamin Cowie and Ms Jennifer MacLachlan from the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health, and was presented at The International Liver Congress in London earlier this month.

"Liver cancer is the fastest increasing cause of cancer deaths in Australia, increasing each year by 5 per cent, so by more than seventy people each year. In 2014 there was an estimated number of deaths of around 1,500 from liver cancer. The predominant cause is chronic viral Hepatitis," Dr Cowie said.

Hepatitis refers to the inflammation of the liver. Chronic infection with the blood-borne viruses Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C can result in scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) or potentially at a later stage – however these risks can be reduced through access to effective care and treatment.

Dr Cowie said additional resources were needed to prevent and treat Hepatitis B and C in order to address these imbalances in major preventable causes of human death.

"The release of the GBD 2010 results provides a unique opportunity to set global and local priorities for health, and address previous imbalances in addressing the major causes of preventable causes of human death, among which hepatitis B and C must clearly be counted."

"The Commonwealth Government has recently committed to funding initiatives to improve access to testing and treatment for people from priority populations living with B in Australia, which is a great step forward," he said.

"The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) estimated around 1.3 million people lost their lives to viral Hepatitis since 1990, which is comparable to the respective burdens of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria," Dr Cowie concluded.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Viral hepatitis more deadly than HIV in Europe

Apr 11, 2014

Mortality from viral hepatitis is significantly higher than from HIV/AIDS across EU countries, according to results from The Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) which was announced for the first time today at the ...

Recommended for you

Cambodia orders probe into mass HIV infection

2 hours ago

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday ordered a probe into an apparent mass HIV infection believed to have been spread by contaminated needles, as the number of suspected cases passed 100.

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

15 hours ago

Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as "the Berlin patient" have ...

Cambodia village reports mass HIV/AIDS infection

Dec 16, 2014

Cambodian health authorities on Tuesday said more than 80 people—including children and the elderly—who tested positive for HIV/AIDS in a single remote village may have been infected by contaminated needles.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.