Hepatitis C Trust brings 'Get Tested!' message to Manchester for World Hepatitis Day

The Hepatitis C Trust is joining forces with Manchester Public Health to promote hepatitis C awareness and testing ahead of World Hepatitis Day (28th July).  It is estimated that over 5,000 people in Manchester are living with hepatitis C, although half of these people are undiagnosed.

To raise awareness of the ‘silent killer’, the charity will be offering free on-the-spot hepatitis C tests at the following times and locations:

  • Friday 24th July:  Madina Mosque, Levenshulme, 10am – 4pm
  • Sat 25th and Sun 26th July:  Manchester Mega Mela, Platt Fields Park, Rusholme, 12pm – 7.30pm.

Hepatitis C is a major public health issue in the UK as around half of the 216,000 people living with the virus are undiagnosed.  Hepatitis C can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer, but if diagnosed and treated it can be cured in over 80% of patients. 

Due to low levels of awareness and the virus often being symptomless until liver damage has occurred, hepatitis C is often referred to as a ‘silent’ epidemic.

Shabana Begum from The Hepatitis C trust, will be at the mosque and mela offering tests alongside local doctors and nurses.  Shabana said:

“Hepatitis C is a serious public health issue here in Manchester.  It’s shocking that so few people have been diagnosed when there are treatments available that can cure the virus in most patients.

“I had hepatitis C for more than 20 years before I was diagnosed.  Lack of awareness and stigma means that many people are living with the virus and suffering serious liver damage unawares.  If people who have been at-risk of infection get tested and treated, we could effectively eliminate the virus in the UK over the next 15 years.”

Dr Kristina Poole from PHE North West, said:

“We are working closely with our partners to increase public awareness so the people who are most at risk can take measures to prevent themselves from becoming infected and those who are already infected can be brought into highly effective treatment programmes. This is an infection which can be cured in most people. We would urge people to take the opportunity and attend these events if they think they are at risk and learn more about Hepatitis and get tested.”