The Third National Hepatitis C Strategy 2010 - 2013

5.4 People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

Page last updated: July 2010

People from CALD backgrounds are a diverse group comprising people of all ages, some from the highest hepatitis C prevalence regions of the world.33 It is estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of people with hepatitis C remain undiagnosed and many are from countries of high hepatitis C prevalence. In addition, many from CALD communities may be diagnosed late and have advanced hepatitis C-related liver disease.34

People with hepatitis C from CALD backgrounds have unique information and support needs. The diversity within these communities must be acknowledged when developing and delivering culturally appropriate services. Newly arrived refugees and members of emerging communities share many of the same needs as established CALD communities, though it is worth highlighting that, due to the competing social, financial and physical needs associated with settlement in Australia, people from emerging and migrant communities may be less likely to prioritise their health and hepatitis C.

Priority CALD communities for hepatitis C in Australia can be identified in several ways, including by:

  • examining hepatitis C prevalence data on countries of birth, especially countries where prevalence is high
  • examining census and immigration data and trends
  • consulting with community organisations and multicultural health services.
As with other targeted programs, prevention, treatment and care initiatives for those from CALD backgrounds should be developed and implemented in partnership with the communities involved, to develop interventions and models of care that are relevant and culturally appropriate.

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33 Caruana SR, Kelly HA, De Silva SL, Chea L, Nuon S, Saykao P, Bak N & Biggs BA et al. 2005, ‘Knowledge about hepatitis and previous exposure to hepatitis viruses in immigrants and refugees from the Mekong region’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 29(1).
34 Razali K, Thein HH, Bell JU, Cooper-Stanbury M, Dolan K, Dore G, George J, Kaldor J, Karvelas M, Li J, Maher L, McGregor S, Hellard M, Poeder F, Quaine J, Stewart K, Tyrrell H, Weltman M, Westcott O & Law M, 2007, ‘Modelling the hepatitis C virus epidemic in Australia’, Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 1;91 (2–3): pp. 228–35.