Posted on 27 February 2011.
A REPORT published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis says 13,000 people who are living with HIV in the UK may also have Hepatitis C but not realise it.
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
Posted in News, UK
Posted on 13 September 2010.
GMFA have launched an advertising campaign to tackle the rise in Hepatitis C infections among HIV-positive gay men.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about co-infection and help HIV-positive gay men to understand how the Hep C virus is spread, how to better protect themselves and the importance of early diagnosis.
According to treatment activist group HIV i-Base, there are between 250,000 to 600,000 people in the UK living with Hepatitis C and only 55,000 have been diagnosed. That means up to 91 per cent of people with Hepatitis C may be undiagnosed.
There have been a growing number of cases of Hepatitis C infection in HIV-positive men, and much of this increase is now understood to be due to sexual transmission. If left untreated, this can lead to an increased risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer and even premature death.
Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA has warned that with up to a third of HIV clinics may not yet testing their patients for Hep C annually. It’s important for HIV-positive men to understand the need for them to be screened for Hep C and to request the test at their clinic.
Matthew adds: “We want to encourage HIV-positive men to ask about Hep C at their clinics and ensure they get tested for the virus. Hep C often shows no symptoms and most people who get infected will not be able to get rid of it without treatment. By getting diagnosed early, you can start treatment and stand the best chance of overcoming the virus.”
For more info about HIV and Hep C go to i-Base
For more info anout GMFA go to www.gmfa.org.uk
Posted in News, UK