Established for over 10 years, the Australasian Hepatology Association (AHA) is the peak professional body supporting and educating hepatology nurses and allied health professionals across Australia and New Zealand.
Since its inception in 2002, the AHA has become the voice of hepatology nurses and continues to build its capacity to provide ongoing professional development, educational resources, support and networking opportunities for nurses and allied health professionals.
The coming years will see major changes for our industry and an evolving role for nurses.
The imminent availability of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) that are less toxic and more effective will change dramatically how Hepatitis C is treated.
In addition, the increasing burden of liver disease in Australia and New Zealand will result in a growing transition of hepatitis nurses looking after patients with other forms of chronic liver disease including, but not limited to, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), other forms of viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the care of patients with advanced liver fibrosis/cirrhosis.
In line with these changes, the AHA the will become more relevant than ever as a major force and powerful voice in determining innovative nurse-led care models, and in providing practical education, resources and support to our members.
"Liver disease now affects more than six million Australians (over a quarter of the population) and equates to a staggering annual cost burden of $50.7 billion."
The Economic Cost and Health Burden of Liver Disease in Australia, The Gastroenterological Society of Australia/Australian Liver Association 2013
Prevalence of Liver Disease in Australia [Deloitte Access Economics The economic cost and health burden of liver diseases in Australia January 2013]
Not for profit
The AHA does not receive government funding and relies on membership subscriptions and educational grants from the pharmaceutical industry to fund its activities.
We welcome philanthropic donations to assist us in the continuing education of nurses and allied health professionals working in the field of hepatology.
- Global recognition for the AHA Consensus Based Nursing Guidelines for the Care of Patients with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Advanced Liver Disease and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (2012)
- Publication of Competency Standards for the Hepatology Nurse (2008; reviewed 2010). Revised and renamed Practice Standards for the Hepatology Nurse (2015).
- Hepatology now recognised as a nursing speciality in Australia, resulting in membership of The Coalition of National Nursing Organisations (CoNNO).
- Our annual summit acknowledged as the leading forum for debate, research dissemination and the sharing of information and resources on hepatology.
- Educational courses developed in conjunction with the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine (ASHM) to help nurses caring for patients with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
- Members regularly present at international and national professional forums and meetings; participate in nurse-led research and steering committees, and review and develop resource materials and educational courses.
- We work collaboratively with major organisations and companies, such as the Australian Liver Association (ALA), ASHM, Hepatitis Australia, pharmaceutical companies, The Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN) and The British Association for the Study of the Liver Nurse Forum (BASLNF).
Our membership is wide-ranging and growing, encompassing many specialist areas in a variety of settings. These include:
- Hepatitis B and C treatment and care
- chronic liver disease and chronic disease management
- liver transplantation
- liver cancer
- sexual health
- mental health
- drug and alcohol
- infectious diseases
- indigenous health
- culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) health service
- prison health centres