The Uncomfortable Truth. Hepatitis C in England: The State of the Nation


Oct 2013 by Hepatitis C Trust
Around 160,000 people in England have chronic hepatitis C, a preventable and treatable blood-borne virus that can lead to potentially fatal cirrhosis or cancer of the liver if left untreated. However, barriers to diagnosis, effective referral and treatment mean that many of these people are undiagnosed, and an increasing number are developing potentially fatal end stage liver disease. Hepatitis C was acknowledged by the Department of Health as an overlooked ‘Cinderella’ disease almost a decade ago. It is a disease that disproportionately affects some of the most deprived and marginalised communities in England. But nearly ten years on, the disease continues to be overlooked and under-prioritised despite all national data sources showing that hepatitis C-related hospital admissions and deaths are increasing. This report makes recommendations to improve prevention and awareness initiatives, to normalise testing and increase diagnoses, and to remove the barriers to treatment and care.