Viral hepatitis impacts some of the world’s most vulnerable communities, including people who inject drugs and prisoners, but while life-saving preventions and treatments are widely accessible in Australia, this is not the case in many other countries. We work to ensure equitable access to hepatitis B and C prevention, testing, treatment, and care.
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, and hepatitis B and hepatitis C are acquired virally, through blood-to-blood contact. At the Kirby Institute, our research on viral hepatitis encompasses immunology, virology, surveillance, epidemiology, prevention, and treatment.
- Our clinical trials have contributed to global guidelines on the treatment for hepatitis C. We led the first international trial of ‘direct-acting antiviral’ hepatitis C treatments among people with ongoing injecting drug use, which has helped overturn restrictions on access for this population in many settings globally.
- In Australia, we are leading a world-first, large-scale trial into whether effective treatment can prevent transmission of hepatitis C.
- For more than 25 years, our Australian Needle and Syringe Program Surveys have tracked Australia’s harm reduction efforts against both HIV and hepatitis C and informed health policy and service design.
- We also co-lead a national program to scale up point-of-care testing for hepatitis C. This testing technology enables the test and results to be delivered within one clinic visit, making testing more accessible and boosting curative treatment uptake for people who return a positive test.
Our research process involves close partnerships with affected communities, and together we are working towards the elimination of hepatitis C in Australia.
Programs working in this area:
- Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program
- Viral Immunology Systems Program
- Viral Hepatitis Epidemiology and Prevention Program
- Surveillance and Evaluation Research Program