Tuesday the 28th July 2020 is World Hepatitis Day!
World Hepatitis Day, observed on the 28th July every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis, a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
Hepatitis (sometimes shortened to hep) is an inflammation of the liver. This large organ is on the right side of your body and has many functions, including turning your food into energy and filtering toxins such as alcohol out of your blood.
What causes hepatitis?
Hepatitis can occur because of:
• viral infection
• exposure to alcohol
The three most common viral forms are:
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Hepatitis C
The other forms of hepatitis – D, E, F and G – are much rarer.
Vaccines can help protect you from hepatitis A and B. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there is treatment.
Last year (2019) on the 28th July, Turning Point launched its Hepatitis C Strategy, which outlines how working in partnership, we aim to support the elimination of Hepatitis C as a major public health threat by 2030 in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis 2016-2021 and Public Health England’s (PHE) Hepatitis C in the UK 2016 report.
Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.3 million lives lost each year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, viral hepatitis continues to claim thousands of lives every day.
In the midst of COVID-19, we wanted to share and re-assure you that we continue to remain committed to maintaining Hepatitis services during COVID-19.
• Hepatitis B & C transmission can occur via sharing Injecting drug use equipment, sharing snorting equipment or pipes, unprofessional tattoos or piercings, shared personal items like razors or toothbrushes, or sexual contact with someone who has the virus.
We offer testing for Blood Borne viruses, Hepatitis B vaccinations and access to treatment for Hepatitis C through our specialist clinics.
• Treatment for Hepatitis C is now much quicker and easier to access with No more interferon and no more liver biopsies!
• You can access your treatment appointments easily at Turning Point premises either at Eldon St, Loughborough, Coalville and Hinckley Health Care Centre, or if you prefer, you can be seen at the LRI.
• A simple scan of the liver can provide instant results!
• Treatment is now 1 or 3 tablets a day for 8, 12 or 16 weeks.
• There is a 97% success rate with treatment, and even if you are in the 3% you can be offered a different course of treatment.
• You can be supported to attend appointment via support from the Hep C Trust and can be offered a bus pass to support you to attend appointments.
• In addition to face to face appointments, you will be provided with telephone support and advice, prior to and throughout treatment.
• Follow up for blood tests after 3 months is essential to be sure the virus has been cleared.
Protect yourself and others, get tested, get treated and get cured. Ask your key worker or any staff member about a blood borne virus test today.
To find out more please visit the Hep C Trust http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/