GPs key in hepatitis C campaign

The DoH is urging GPs to be on the look-out for the 100,000 patients in England who do not know they have hepatitis C.

Dr David Colin-Thomé
Dr David Colin-Thomé

Its 'Get Tested. Get Treated' campaign begins this month to remind people of life experiences which could have exposed them to infection.

The campaign encourages GPs to support it by offering information and testing for patients in at-risk groups including former injecting drug users and those from South Asian communities who may have been exposed to hepatitis C infection abroad.

Drug therapy successfully clears the virus in more than half of patients treated, with success rates of around 80% for some strains.

Dr David Colin-Thomé, primary care czar, said: ‘It can take years or even decades for symptoms to appear, if at all, and if left untreated can lead to liver damage and premature death.

‘Fortunately, effective treatment is available. GPs, as the key clinical carer for their patients, will need to be alert to risk factors and symptoms and ensure they get tested and treated.'

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