Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the world’s most common infectious diseases. Unfortunately, HBV often goes undetected in the Victorian population. Studies show that people from refugee backgrounds (and all overseas-born Australians) are at high risk of under-detected HBV infection in Australia and are a Priority Population for HBV screening, immunisation and health education. GPs, nurses and primary care providers are well positioned to address health inequality by identifying patients of refugee background (asylum seekers, humanitarian arrivals and their families) and offering the investigations needed to detect, prevent and manage HBV. Accurate identification and management can help reduce risk of liver cancer.
This factsheet provides key points only. Comprehensive information on HBV management and resources for appropriate patient education can be found elsewhere. Some links are provided at the end of this factsheet.
The Victorian Refugee Health Network wishes to acknowledge the specialised knowledge and helpful feedback given by the Department of Health, the Victorian Hepatitis B Alliance, infectious diseases physicians, GPs, nurses and Hepatitis educators.