New Briefing Released on International Women’s Day 2024: Women and Viral Hepatitis 

As the world celebrated International Women’s Day, a new briefing document jointly released by the World Hepatitis Alliance and The International Network on Health and Hepatitis in Substance Users (INHSU) sheds light on the unique challenges faced by women living with viral hepatitis. The briefing emphasises the urgent need for a deeper understanding of how hepatitis impacts women across different stages of life and backgrounds. 

Despite the prevalence of viral hepatitis among women, the briefing underscores the gender and socioeconomic disparities that hinder women’s access to quality healthcare. Marginalised groups, including women experiencing homelessness, drug use, and engaged in sex work, face additional barriers due to stigma and discrimination. 

The briefing calls for urgent action to address these disparities and improve access to care for women living with viral hepatitis. It outlines five key calls to action: 

  1. Empowerment: Offer comprehensive viral hepatitis education to women and the broader community, ensuring accessibility, accuracy, and inclusivity. Programs should be community-led to combat stigma and misinformation effectively 
  2. Involvement: Ensure women’s active participation in government to prioritise women’s health issues and address social inequalities in policies 
  3. Service Delivery: Establish affordable and culturally sensitive community-based services to enhance access to viral hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment. Special emphasis should be placed on providing women-only health services to cater to diverse needs 
  4. Knowledge Enhancement: Invest in research and data collection focusing on the impact of viral hepatitis on women to gain insights into their experiences and identify gaps in care 
  5. Training: Provide comprehensive training to health workers on addressing the needs of marginalised and vulnerable women living with viral hepatitis, including those who inject drugs 

These measures are essential steps towards ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare and empowering women to manage their viral hepatitis effectively. 

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