WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?
New estimations suggests that almost one in fifty adults is infected with hepatitis B and a similar amount of people have chronic hepatitis C and yet most of the people with hepatitis B and C are unaware of their infection.
RISK GROUPS FOR HEPATITIS B AND C
- Anyone who has ever injected drugs
- People born or who have lived in a country of high prevalence, predominantly, countries in Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa
- Everyone who has been diagnosed with HIV or hepatitis B or C
- People who may have had unsterile medical or dental treatment abroad, or treatment in countries where infection control procedures are sub-standard
- People who have had a tattoo or piercing (i.e. in unlicensed premises, in prison or home)
- Those who have elevated Liver Function Tests (LFTs)
- Men who have sex with men
- Pregnant women, if other risk factors are present
- Children of women known to be infected
- Any healthcare worker following occupational needle-stick injuries
HIGHER RATES OF HEPATITIS AMONG VULNERABLE GROUPS
Hepatitis infection is more common in vulnerable population groups. People who inject drugs are the most affected group. Infection is also common in other vulnerable population groups such as men who have sex with men and sex workers.
By comparison, rates in the general population of countries in the European Region outside the European Union and European Free Trade Association are 3.8% for hepatitis B and 2.3 % for hepatitis C.
People who inject drugs
for hepatitis B
for hepatitis C
It is widely recognised that stigmatised, marginalised and socially excluded groups, such as PWID, face barriers accessing healthcare services. Understanding these barriers can determine the responses needed to overcome them and increase access to hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing.