Advertising campaign to raise awareness of blood borne viruses

The Department of Health has launched an advertising campaign to raise awareness of blood-borne viruses (BBVs), and the importance of BBV prevention among Aboriginal people aged 16-39 years.

Social media tile: Look after your blood. 2 women walking into an Aboriginal health clinic

Blood-borne viruses – such as hepatitis B (Healthy WA), hepatitis C (Healthy WA) and HIV (Healthy WA) – are transmitted by blood, and hepatitis B and HIV can also be transmitted through sexual activity (sexual transmission of hepatitis C is also possible if blood is present).

The campaign was developed in consultation with Aboriginal health workers and leaders from regional and metropolitan areas and community-based organisations including a peer organisation for people who inject drugs. Interviews with Aboriginal people in WA that have a lived experience of hepatitis C and HIV also shaped the campaign development.

People with blood-borne viruses often look and feel healthy, so encouraging people at risk to get tested is a key factor in addressing blood-borne viruses.

Hepatitis C notifications are disproportionally high in the Aboriginal population. In WA, hepatitis C notifications in Aboriginal people are 13-times higher than reported among non-Aboriginal people.

Injecting drug use also contributes to a proportion of newly diagnosed HIV infections in WA.

Testing is crucial as a range of treatments are now making it possible for people with blood-borne viruses to continue to live long and healthy lives.

Treatments are now available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. A cure is now possible for 95 per cent of people with chronic hepatitis C. Highly effective treatments are also available for people living with HIV.

Encourage your clients and community to get tested for blood-borne viruses.

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