A roadshow travelled across England and Wales to raise awareness for Hepatitis C in July 2013, ending in Sheffield on the 25 July. The Hepatitis C Trust initiative, which visited cities such as Swindon, Blackpool and Cardiff, wants people to “Talk, Test, Treat” Hepatitis C.
The roadshow aimed to help identify those people who do not know that they might have Hepatitis C. In Cambridge for example, where the roadshow was launched, there are 1,500 people estimated to have Hepatitis C. Less than half of those know that they have the virus.
This silent, and potentially deadly, epidemic affects so many people without them realising it because often Hepatitis C has no symptoms in its early stages. The later the diagnosis the less effective treatment is, and if left untreated chronic Hepatitis C can cause irreversible cirrhosis and can even cause liver cancer.
Chief Executive of The Hepatitis C Trust Charles Gore said: “Our World Hepatitis Day message is clear: if you think you have ever been at risk of Hepatitis C, get tested… People are needlessly dying from this preventable and curable disease because they simply don’t know they have it.”
“This is an exciting time for Hepatitis C,” Professor Graham Foster believes, “Current treatments can cure over 70% of patients with early disease and there are many new drug treatments on the horizon that are likely to improve success rates still further.”
If you think you have been exposed to Hepatitis C, however long ago, the message is clear: get tested as early as possible. Better2Know have clinics across the UK where you can book an appointment at a convenient time for you. Hepatitis C results are back the same day your sample is received in the laboratory.