Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver, causing both acute and chronic disease. It can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, sharing drug injecting equipment or from mother to baby.

More than 250 million people worldwide were living a with a chronic HBV infection in 2015. In the same year, the hepatitis B resulted in an estimated 887 000 deaths, mostly from cirrhosis and primary liver cancer.

Though HBV is fifty times more infectious than HIV, there is a 95 per cent effective vaccine available. Vaccinating a baby in the first 24 hours of life against the virus is potentially lifesaving, yet millions of children in resource-poor countries are still missing out.

In Australia, 226,612 people were living with chronic hepatitis B in 2018. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people are disproportionately affected and were estimated to make up 6.3 per cent of the total number of cases.

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Current Projects

  • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

  • Hepatitis B discrimination and health service access.

  • Identifying the barriers to hepatitis B clinical management: the perspectives of people with hepatitis B.

  • Identifying the structural enablers to the clinical management of people with hepatitis B in general practice: a qualitative investigation

  • Improving Hepatitis B Virus screening in general practice in Victoria

  • Methods for improved sensitivity of lateral flow tests

  • Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) Snapshot Study

  • SHARP: Screening for Hepatitis in At-Risk Populations

  • SuperMIX: The Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study

  • The B-VAX Project: Hep B vaccinations for people who inject drugs

Past Projects

  • ALT point-of-care diagnostic to detect liver disease