Hep C is a blood borne virus. Most people won’t know they are infected as there are few symptoms. If left untreated, the virus can begin to damage and scar the liver, leading to liver cirrhosis. This can lead to further health problems, which may be fatal.
Hep C is now a curable disease and Public Health England (PHE) aim to eliminate it, in line with the World Health Organisation’s international ambition, by 2030.
People in homelessness services are among high risk goups for Hep C. Some will not know they have Hep C. Others may have been diagnosed in the past but have not sought treatment because it used to cause terrible side effects. Modern treatment involves taking one tablet each day with minimal side effects, so there's a real opportunity to improve health outcomes for the people you support.
This briefing sets out how homelessness services can raise awareness and take simple action on Hep C prevention, screening and treatment.
With thanks to The Hepatitis C Trust for their support in creating this briefing.