NHS England has a national aim of eliminating hepatitis C as a public health threat ahead of 2030, as part of a wider global World Health Organisation goal.  Hep C U Later exists to support the elimination of hepatitis C, recognising that hepatitis C can be prevented, identified, and cured. It is estimated there are currently 60,000 people in England who are unaware they have a hepatitis C infection.

If the hepatitis C virus is not identified and treated this can lead to liver damage, cancer, and death.   There are a number of risk factors for hepatitis C and people do not always recognise they have the infection due to a lack of symptoms.  The only way to know is to engage people in testing.

“Picking up hepatitis C infection in pregnancy, alongside other tests that are already conducted, reduces the future harms related to infection for both mother and baby. Effective treatment is available to both – mum after delivery and baby from the age of three.  So for every case identified, that’s potentially two life-threatening health issues that can be solved. This is why NHS England is working to progress a testing programme in antenatal services that will help us to eliminate the virus from expectant mothers and their children.”

Mark Gillyon-Powell, Head of NHSE’s HCV elimination programme

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