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Hepatitis A Outbreak in New South Wales


In June 2017, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported an increase of hepatitis A among high risk groups including people living with HIV (PLHIV) and men who have sex with men in Europe and the Americas.

In New South Wales eighteen locally acquired cases of hepatitis A have been reported since late July. Eight of the eighteen reported cases are men who have sex with men.

Molecular typing suggests the NSW infections are associated withy the recent outbreaks of hepatitis A reported in men who have sex with men in Europe. Epidemiological analysis suggests the infection may now being spread by person to person through local sexual contact.

Vaccinate Against hepatitis A for Your Own Protection

Commonwealth government immunization guidelines for hepatitis A vaccination include men who have sex with men, persons who inject drugs, migrant populations, persons living with HIV and sex workers.

SWOP encourages sex workers who have not been vaccinated for hepatitis A or do not know their vaccination status and may be persons who inject drugs, recent migrant or persons living with HIV or especially are male sex workers who have sex with other men to check their vaccination status and to get vaccinated if they are not immune.

This can be done through your local GP or sexual health service. Hepatitis A vaccinations are given as two doses about six months apart. One does of the vaccine within two weeks after an infection is highly effective in preventing that infection and the two doses provide protection for over ten years. The vaccine is not free and will cost about about $130 plus the cost of your GP visit if your GP does not bulk bill.

Hepatitis A screening is available at sexual health clinics free of charge to people who have the following risks; men who have sex with men/person who have frequent sex with Men who have sex with men, people with living HIV and people with chronic hepatitis C.

If you do not belong to the risk groups above and cannot afford the vaccine you can talk to your GP or local sexual health clinic or call us at SWOP for advice on 9206-2166.

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