Whyalla has many things to look forward to as the Christmas season approaches – a promising future for the steelworks, a growing tourism industry, carols, street parties ... and a remarkable new cure for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis SA will be in Whyalla in December, with a specialist nurse from SA Health, to put the new hepatitis C cure on the radar of doctors and the community in Whyalla.
Hepatitis SA’s Peer Education Coordinator, Lisa Carter is one of many who have found the benefits of the new cure for hepatitis C, which is under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
“I contacted a viral hepatitis nurse and went through the Queen Elisabeth Hospital. I had twelve weeks of two pills each day which gave me no side effects, so I didn’t have to take time off of work,” she said.
“I then had the post-treatment which showed that I’m cured, which was absolutely amazing. The old treatments weren’t very successful.
“For me it was a 97% chance of being cured, and I feel so much better after done the treatment. There was a weight off of my shoulders that I didn’t even realise I was carrying.”
Fortunately Ms Carter was able to wait for this treatment, while some of her friends tried older treatments which did not work for them.
“Now nobody has to wait for this treatment, the more people we treat the better. It’s affordable for everyone,” she said.
“What we’re trying to do now is raise awareness and get as many people tested, treated and cured as possible. There’s almost 12000 people in South Australia that are living with Hep C.
“People in rural areas aren’t accessing the treatment. It can be because of stigma, and I understand that if they don't want people to know if they have hepatitis C.
“We can provide confidential advice to people through our helpline.”
Hepatitis SA Educators, Jenny and Shannon will be available to answers any question about Hepatitis at an info booth in the Whyalla Library Foyer, between 12pm & 1pm on Thursday the 14th of December.
Talk to your GP about the new treatments for hep C or call Viral Hepatitis Nurse, Margery on 0423 782 415 who will be providing a treatment clinic in Whyalla on December 7.