Hepatitis fails to find Australian ambassador

NO HIGH profile Australians have been willing to become the face of hepatitis by acting as a national ambassador for World Hepatitis Day.

Hepatitis Australia CEO Helen Tyrrell said there were many high profile and senior people in government, business and academia with the disease but nobody wanted to be associated with it in a public sense.

“The fact that no-one stepped forward [as ambassador] said it all,” she said.

“Hepatitis is everywhere. It can affect anyone, anywhere. People with hepatitis come from all walks of life. It is virtually in every street and workplace in Australia.”

Ms Tyrrell said more than 11,000 Australians were diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2009 and another 7000 with hepatitis B, or 18 times the number of people diagnosed with HIV, but community knowledge and awareness of the disease remained very low.

The theme of World Hepatitis Day is ‘This is hepatitis... Know it