Guidance on testing for hepatitis B and C (with reference to HIV) Developed by Yorkshire and the Humber Hepatitis B and C Steering Group

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Mar 2012 by Health Protection Agency
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Individuals with chronic hepatitis (B and C) can be treated, which reduces the likelihood of chronic illness and premature death. Recognition of infection and treatment may also reduce the spread of infection. In 2010 across Yorkshire and the Humber there were 427 cases of hepatitis B (of which 39 were acute) and 980 newly identified hepatitis C infections reported through NHS/HPA laboratory testing, however HPA estimates calculate that there are over 20,000 people actually infected with hepatitis C in the region. More pro-active testing, especially for hepatitis C, is stressed as needing to take place throughout a range of healthcare settings. Whilst regular testing is now being carried out for some at risk groups, for example testing of drug users within drug treatment services, there are other risk groups, such as ex-drug users, or individuals who have had invasive medical procedures/blood transfusions in countries where no routine blood screening for hepatitis C is done, who are not been identified and offered testing. The Steering Group identify a number of specific groups as being most at risk of hepatitis B and C infection and lay out recommendations for testing for hepatitis B and C.