The Queanbeyan Age

A new lease on life

Brighter futures: For those diagnosed with hepatitis C the future is brighter with the road to recovery much faster and simpler than ever before.
Brighter futures: For those diagnosed with hepatitis C the future is brighter with the road to recovery much faster and simpler than ever before.

This is sponsored content for Hepatitis ACT

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Jim now has a new lease on life.

After more than 25 years of living under the shadow of hepatitis C, all it took was two pills a day for three months to be free of the disease.

"Often people living with Hep C have no symptoms,"  Jim says. "But I felt bowled over when I was diagnosed in 1991. I was filled with lethargy, fatigue, pain and sadness."

With three children under the age of 10, he had to be extra cautious around the home and he had little energy to do anything, which he says was very tough.

"The psychological impact, as well as the physical, was enormous,"

Hepatitis C was only discovered in 1989. Whilst treatment was once gruelling with a low chance of success,  it has come a long way since then.

"When I was first diagnosed I heard the interferon treatment was terrible; very extensive and financially prohibitive.

"Back then the big barrier was you had to be drug-free and I wasn't at the time."

With a cure rate of greater than 95 per cent, the Federal Government funding of breakthrough antiviral medicine has brought relief to tens of thousands of Australians

"The Government needs to be applauded for the inclusion of new anti-viral medicines in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

"Not only has it improved the lives of many but there are economic advantages too as treating chronic liver disease is very expensive."

Left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to serious liver disease including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

However, if diagnosed and treated early, even a damaged liver has a remarkable ability to repair and regenerate.

Just three months

Jim has been cured since August 2016.

The course of treatment took just three months and he says the time flew by.

"It was really easy and no problem, simply two pills a day with no adverse side-effects.

"Thank God my GP alerted me to the recent inclusion of new anti-viral medications on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, otherwise it wouldn't have been financially possible.

"I wish I had done it sooner," he says.

He will be 60 this year and says he is no longer in pain, has more energy and is free of depression.

Even his family have noticed the difference in his positive outlook.

With a new hunger for life, he is aiming to bring his skills to the community.  He has received clearance for Working With Vulnerable People and as a musician, he has started performing again.

He says he feels alive again. 

"I encourage anyone to take the treatment, it really is a no-brainer. Like me, you'll get your life back."

All it takes is making an appointment with your GP to get you started on the road to being cured.

About Hepatitis ACT

In Australia, it is estimated nearly 182,000 people are living with chronic hepatitis C, with a high prevalence amongst baby boomers.

Now direct-acting antiviral medications have a greater than 95 per cent cure rate and little to no side-effects.

That is why Hepatitis Australia and Hepatitis ACT are encouraging people to come forward for screening and also take advantage, if necessary, of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme’s inclusion of new anti-viral medicines. 

The aim is to have Australia free of hepatitis C by 2030.


At the beginning of 2019, Hepatitis Australia launched the Test, Cure, Live campaign to prompt people to get tested if they think they might be at risk, and for people with hepatitis C to seek treatment.

The campaign includes a podcast series #MakingHepatitisCHistory, which features people sharing their stories of being cured of hepatitis C.  

There is a wealth of valuable information to be found on the TEST CURE LIVE website

More information and support

You can call the Hepatitis Australia national information line on 1800 437 222.

You can also call Hepatitis ACT for support and information from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm on (02) 6230 6344.

This is sponsored content for Hepatitis ACT