The Hepatitis C Trust welcomes the first European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week

This year sees the first European HIV-Hepatitis Testing Week, taking place between 20th - 27th November, with the inclusion of hepatitis an acknowledgment of how important tackling hepatitis C, a leading cause of liver disease, is to public health.

Effective testing and screening are central not just to our ability to provide treatment for those living with hepatitis C but also to limit the number of infections. Recent medical advances mean hepatitis C can now be treated quickly, effectively and with limited side effects.

Half of those believed to be infected with hepatitis C are thought to be undiagnosed. If we triple both the rates of diagnosis and treatment, we may be able to eliminate hepatitis C as a serious public health concern over the next fifteen years.

 

HCV Action and Public Health England stage Hepatitis C Roadshow in Brighton

On 24th November HCV Action are holding a hepatitis C roadshow in Brighton, in partnership with Public Health England, to coincide with HIV - Hepatitis Testing Week. Held within a high prevalence area, the roadshow aims to bring together health professionals, decision-makers and commissioners to instigate local action to eliminate hep C as a serious public health concern. The Brighton roadshow will also look at HIV, exploring the issue of ChemSex, what lessons can be learnt from the fight against HIV and considering how HIV and HCV could be addressed together. It will feature a range of talks, including from Dr Stuart Flanagan on the Going Viral project around testing for BBVs in A&E; from a patient on their experiences of being co-infected with hepatitis C and HIV; and a workshop on awareness and prevention around ChemSex and BBVs.

More information about the roadshow can be found here: http://bit.ly/1PSlIl3

 

Going Viral

Starting during Testing Week, over the next year A&E patients at The Royal London Hospital will be offered testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. This follows the results from Going Viral, a pioneering project that saw nine UK A&Es between Scotland and London offer over 2,000 patients a test for the three viruses in an effort to find out what percentage of attendees had been exposed to these viruses. 

Going Viral found that hepatitis C prevalence figures for the tested population were 4.5 times higher than the reported prevalence for hepatitis C for the UK and six times the national average in the in 25-55 year age group. The Hepatitis C Trust welcomes this project and the evidence it is building towards greater routine testing for hepatitis C within the NHS being both necessary and cost effective.

Charles Gore, Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said: “With around half of all people with hepatitis C still undiagnosed, European HIV – Hepatitis Testing Week offers us the opportunity to focus on the work we still have to do to increase the numbers of people tested and diagnosed, with the ultimate aim of ensuring more people are treated and cured. This work requires innovation, like the innovation shown in the Going Viral project, and we must now redouble our efforts to support such innovation and ensure that everyone with hepatitis C is diagnosed. It is only by doing this that we can avert the rising tide of hepatitis C-related deaths.”