This represents nearly 70% of the total estimate of people with HIV and Hep C in the UK.
The report is based on a study by the UK Collaborative HIV Cohort, which indicates that gay men still remain a high risk group, second only to injecting drug users.
The study looked at 31,765 patients at ten specialist HIV clinics between 1996 and 2007. 36% had never been tested for Hep C, despite guidelines from BHIVA (British HIV Association) recommending screening for all HIV-positive patients.
Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, said: “It’s a major concern that HIV-positive men aren’t being screened regularly for Hepatitis C. The virus often shows no symptoms and most people who get infected will not be able to get rid of it without treatment. We urge men with HIV to ask about Hepatitis C at their clinics and ensure they get tested. By getting diagnosed early, you can start treatment and stand the best chance of overcoming the virus.”
Seven per cent of HIV-positive gay men are known to have Hep C.
A blogger on Outspoken on Health GMFA’s blog site said: “I acquired HIV in 2001 and I am currently undergoing treatment for Hepatitis C for the SECOND time!” writes the anonymous blogger. “I have stopped having unprotected sex because I simply can’t stand the trauma of all the STIs and health issues that go with it any more… people have no idea how [unprotected sex] can affect your mental health. And Hepatitis C is the new HIV. It’s out there and the treatment is hard going.”
To read the full article, visit: http://www.onmedica.com/NewsArticle.aspx?id=73925b3a-b3ea-452e-9a37-4064ea870e20