9th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference


Please be aware that the World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis will be begin at 2pm on Sunday 14 September for registration with transfers departing the convention centre for the Welcome Reception at 4pm. The conference will conclude at 5.30pm on Tuesday 16 September. The 9th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference will begin at 12.30pm on Wednesday 17 September and conclude at 5pm on Friday 19 September.

*Subject to change

Theme Content
The full conference program will be released very soon but in the meantime, our theme convenors have provided information below on what content is being included in the conference. The conference will include a strong emphasis on Community & Social Research, Clinical Care, Basic Science and Epidemiology, Public Health & Prevention the same as the previous conferences. 

Community & Social Research Stream
This stream serves as the focus of attention for community-based organisations and social researchers in the viral hepatitis field. Our focus in 2014 has been building a program of presentations, symposia and workshop that allow delegates to explore important issues across areas of prevention, living with care/treatment of viral hepatitis. We have paid special attention to work with communities of diverse language and culture and to examine how organisations can build capacity with limited resources. We have also worked with colleagues in other streams to build a session exploring viral hepatitis and substance use. The final key aspect of our program is to bring issues of discrimination, the law and human rights to focus in the conference program. We invite colleagues with community and in social research to join us for this exciting program.

Basic Science Stream
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C remain a world-wide public health concern with a substantial proportion of those chronically infected developing liver cancer, currently the world's fifth most common cancer. Australia too has experienced a recent increase in viral hepatitis with liver cancer becoming our fastest increasing cause of cancer mortality, which has significant implications for our health care system. The Basic Science stream at this conference will provide delegates with new insights into how we can combat viral hepatitis. We will hear from leading international and local experts on the latest developments in the evolution of hepatitis B virus, novel therapeutics and new potential targets for antivirals. We will hear about progress towards a vaccine for hepatitis C, the best approaches to treat the virus and new insights into viral transmission to help inform treatment and prevention strategies to reduce this epidemic. The conference will offer opportunities for both scientific and social interaction with our colleagues.

Epidemiology, Public Health and Prevention
The major impact of chronic viral hepatitis on population health is increasingly being recognised in Australasia and globally. With over 500,000 people living with chronic viral hepatitis in Australia and New Zealand, liver cancer (predominantly due to viral hepatitis) is now the fastest increasing cause of cancer deaths of Australians.
This conference will highlight the issue of viral hepatitis in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Other key aspects included in this theme will be enhancing diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B in culturally and linguistically diverse communities; policy development regarding viral hepatitis internationally; liver cancer prevention; cascades of care for hepatitis B and C in priority populations; and prevention of viral hepatitis in regional areas.
The need for more epidemiological research, enhanced public health responses, and programs to prevent both incident infections and poor outcomes of chronic infection is immediate. This year has seen  the launch of Australia's new National Strategies with specific targets to achieve by 2017. The conversation around how to achieve these targets, and how to measure these achievements, starts at  the Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference in Alice Springs this September.

Clinical Care
Despite the plethora of national and international meetings on viral hepatitis of late, the clinical care theme of the 9th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference will offer a unique and valuable perspective on some of the most important problems facing those who care for patients with viral hepatitis at this exciting time in history, including: Viral Hepatitis in Indigenous Australians, Treatment access for new and expensive HCV drugs; Special populations with hepatitis C ( such as those with advanced liver disease); Genotype 3 hepatitis C (the new "difficult" genotype), Models of care ( and how the new treatments will impact on this); and Hepatitis B and immunosuppression. These talks will be delivered by prominent international and Australian speakers, and will be complimented by several high-quality proffered paper sessions.

Symposia Sessions are being planned on:
  • Viral Hepatitis and substance use
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations
  • Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Populations
  • Central issues in Global Access for Hepatitis C treatment
  • Human Rights, the Law and Discrimination
  • Hepatitis and Liver Cancer
  • Epidemiology themed session on Cascade of Care
  • AHA Nursing session
  • Community and Social Research session on Connecting to Care
  • Basic Science research on Curing HCV
  • Clinical Care session on New challenges in the management of hepatitis C in the DAA era
  • Epidemiology, Public Health & Prevention session on prevention in rural and regional settings 
  • Working with CALD communities 
  • Basic Science session on chronic HBV infection and factors influencing disease progression
Don't miss the final exciting session including two debates on the eradication of hepatitis, not to mention many high quality proffered paper sessions. Further details will be on the website soon.