One in 12 people worldwide are living with hepatitis B or C. In Australia, hepatitis C affects one in every 100 people and only approximately 2000 people (1% of those eligible) are currently undertaking hepatitis C treatment.

Cutting edge research into new curative therapies for the hepatitis C virus will be presented by key experts in the field at an upcoming international liver meeting in Brisbane next March.

On the eve of World Hepatitis Day 2013, President of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2014 meeting, Professor Darrell Crawford said that while there is a vaccine for hepatitis B, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

“However, the extraordinary emergence of highly effective new antiviral regimes is revealing exciting new treatments that will aim to cure hepatitis C virus in the majority of cases,” Professor Crawford said.

“The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver meeting will bring to Australia the leaders in the field of hepatology to showcase the most recent advances in science and medical technologies at a time that is considered the most exciting period ever witnessed in the field of liver disease.

“The Asian Pacific Region is at the epicentre of liver disease, both in the number of affected individuals, reaching almost 800 million, and now in the quality of its research contributions.

“The emerging economic strength of many countries in Asia will soon see the region’s contribution to global hepatology research reach unprecedented levels, but at the same time we are witnessing concerning changes to liver disease patterns, such as the emergence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

“We have been working closely with health care agencies in our region to reveal the magnitude and public health implications of liver disease, including chronic viral hepatitis, and are now on the cusp of important initiatives to improve awareness and treatment.

“Bringing together more than 3000 liver specialists to discuss the latest developments in the study of the liver, including hepatitis, will give affected patients new hope,” Professor Crawford said.

APASL 2014 will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 12 to 15 March 2014 and is being hosted by the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, supported by Brisbane Marketing.

Further program details can be found at www.apasl2014.com

APASL is one of the great international liver societies, including almost 80 affiliated nations, spanning a huge proportion of the globe and representing an area of remarkable diversity.

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