The World Health Organisation (WHO) part of the United Nations, has issued its first guidelines for testing and treating Hepatitis C. The guidelines can be found here.
It is estimated that there are around 140 million people in the world with Hepatitis C, and in the UK that number are largely undiagnosed. Meaning that they may be suffering the symptoms, without realising that they have the virus which can cause long term liver conditions.
“The WHO recommendations are based on a thorough review of the best and latest scientific evidence,” says Dr Stefan Wiktor, who is head of the WHO’s Global Hepatitis Programme. “The new guidance aims to help countries to improve treatment and care for hepatitis C and thereby reduce deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis.”
Whilst the intended audience for the guidelines are those responsible for developing screening and treatment programmes (including government and policy makers as well as healthcare managers), they are a useful framework and guidance for anyone involved with patients who have HCV (Hepatitis C Virus).
It is thought around 200,000 people in the UK have the Hepatitis C virus, about twice the number who have HIV. However the non-diagnosis rate is much higher than HIV. If you are suffering from symptoms which might be related to HCV, then the only way to know is to have a test. Better2Know can bring you your results the same day your sample is received in our laboratory.