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Drug & Alcohol

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 70,000 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.

Hepatitis C most disproportionally affects people who inject drugs who may also experience barriers to accessing care.  Increasing and improving a person’s access to hepatitis C testing and treatment can also be an opportunity for making every contact count and improving overall health and wellbeing.

“The hepatitis C elimination work across drug and alcohol services within the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance has been critical to ensuring we meet people’s needs wherever they are, minimising barriers to care and reducing health inequalities.  Utilising our partnerships has been central to this and together we share resources which allow all of our organisations to improve upon what we deliver.  This work can have a positive and lasting impact on people who access drug and alcohol services – their health and their wellbeing.

The Hep C U Later project continues to deliver on its objectives of reducing the barriers that exist in testing and treatment pathways across multiple systems, and continues to tackle stigma through its campaign.”

Danny Hames, Head of Inclusion and Chair of the NHS Addictions Provider Alliance (NHSAPA)

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