Hepatitis C testing available for residents

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RESIDENTS can be tested for blood disease hepatitis C when a health bus stops off at the county’s towns this week.

The Hepatitis C Trust’s mobile testing van travels the country as part of a national initiative to raise awareness about Hep C and encourage more people at risk of the virus to get tested. The Warwickshire visits have been arranged in liaison with the county’s drug and alcohol treatment service, the Recovery Partnership, and the Drug and Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) at the county council.

The van will be visiting Rugbyon Tuesday April 24 at 1 Regent Place. Hepatitis C is a virus which is transmitted through blood often through sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia. Hepatitis C attacks the liver but symptoms often won’t appear for many years. Current treatment cures about half of people who have it and is improving all the time.

Fully trained staff operate the mobile service, and will offer free and confidential advice, and on the spot rapid antibody testing to anyone concerned that they might have the infection. If tested positive, staff will offer support and referral to treatment services.

Paul Hooper, Warwickshire County Council’s Community Safety and Substance Misuse Manager said: “The DAAT are pleased to support this initiative. Injecting drug users have a high risk of becoming infected with the hep C virus and the more we can do to encourage people to come forward and get tested, the more likely treatment will be successful.

“Working with the Recovery Partnership, the Hepatitis C Trust can also ensure that people get support for their drug problem if they need it”.