NHS Tayside supports World Hepatitis Day with free testing events

WEDNESDAY, 26 JULY, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

NHS Tayside supports World Hepatitis Day with free testing events

To support World Hepatitis Day on Friday, 28 July, NHS Tayside is encouraging people to come forward for free Hepatitis C testing and to take advantage of improved treatments.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a blood borne virus which can cause serious liver damage including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Those most at risk of contracting the condition include people who are currently or have a history of injecting drugs, including steroids or other performance enhancing or body image drugs.

 

Ann Eriksen, Executive Lead for Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses for NHS Tayside said, “We want to get across the message that Hepatitis C, when diagnosed, can be cured. Recent medical advancement and new treatment, now means that Hepatitis C is completely curable, meaning that those infected with hepatitis C can live a long and healthy life. 

 

“We estimate that there are around 4000 people in Tayside living with HCV.  Whilst we have diagnosed almost 90% of individuals, more than 400 people remain unaware that they have the condition as they have never been tested. Finger prick dry blood spot testing for Hepatitis C is quick and easy and is widely available across Tayside, including in many community pharmacies.

 

“Fear of stigma and lack of information often holds people back from getting tested or seen by specialist staff. We want to make sure that people know that there is wide range of friendly, accessible services across Tayside that can offer testing and access to very effective treatments.

“We would like to encourage anyone who is interested in finding out their own STI and blood borne virus status to come along to Klozet in Dundee, on Saturday, 29 July and see us for a free, confidential test or even just a chat.”

Testing events are complementing the national ‘Hepatitis See’ campaign, which has encouraged budding artists to explore identity and tackle stigma issues faced by those affected by Hepatitis.


The project, ‘Hepatitis See’, developed through a partnership between Scottish charities including Tayside Healthcare Arts Trust, Hepatitis Scotland and a number of local NHS boards, deals with the everyday issues that living with hepatitis C in Scotland brings. The artwork also portrays the contrasting identities people possess before and after treatment, showing the positive impact treatment has on people’s lives.

The artwork produced at the local events held in Dundee in June will be shown alongside the work of participants from around Scotland at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, on Friday, 28 July.

In addition to the Klozet event, testing is available as follows:

Dundee

     

Thursday, 27 July

The Cairn Centre, Rattray Street

9.00 - 5.00

 

MOT @ The Cairn Centre, Rattray Street

4.30 - 7.00

Contact:

Gaynyr Dickson

NHS Tayside Communications

01382 740716

gaynyr.dickson@nhs.net