We’ve had news from HCV Action that the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Liver Health has launched an inquiry into hepatitis C elimination. The APPG will host three oral evidence sessions in Parliamentwhere key stakeholders will provide their perspectives on the practical and strategic changes needed to move towards elimination of hepatitis C in England.
This is excellent news saus the Medical Director of Saving Lives, Dr Steve Taylor: “We now have the tools to cure individuals with Viral hepatitis C, which is amazing. The key now is to diagnose the individuals who are potentially infected with Hepatitis C but don’t know it.
“We really don’t know how many people there are infected and undiagnosed in the UK, but without making a diagnosis we cant offer them life-saving treatment.”
1 in 12 people worldwide are living with the Hepatitis B or C virus. Every year, 1 million people die because of liver failure or liver cancer caused by Hepatitis B or C.
In addition to the three oral evidence sessions, the APPG is calling for written evidence from individuals and organisations to contribute their perspectives on how the elimination of hepatitis C can be achieved in England. The deadline for submission of written evidence is the 27th October, and further guidance can be found here.
On the basis of the received evidence, a ‘blueprint for elimination’ will be produced, providing an overview of the evidence received, and setting out some of the practical steps that can be taken to ensure the elimination of hepatitis C as a serious public health concern in England.
Hepatitis B and C are entirely treatable, if you find out early enough. Should you take a hepatitis C test?
- Were you born in Asia, Africa, South America, Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe or the Middle East?
- Have you had medical or dental procedures in any of these areas?
- Have you had a blood transfusion or received blood products or an organ transplant prior to 1991 in the UK?
- Have you had a tattoo or piercing in unregistered premises with possibly non-sterile equipment?
- Have you ever injected drugs with shared needles, even once?
- Have you had unprotected sex with anyone who could have Hepatitis B or C due to any of the reasons listed above?
- Have you shared razors or toothbrushes with anyone who could have Hepatitis B or C due to any of the reasons listed above?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you should consider taking the test. If you are worried, you can order a postal fingerpick test for Hepatitis b and C using our postal testing service, TakeATestUK.