Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 14:40 BST on Monday, 23rd July 2012.
 
NHS Lanarkshire to offer free 'on the road' advice about viral hepatitis

NHS Lanarkshire have announced that they will be providing free ‘on the road’ expert advice and testing to people who are concerned about viral hepatitis.

 

On Friday 27th July, the NHS Lanarkshire outreach van will be visiting the ‘Hawaiian Party 2’ in Coatbridge, where staff will be on hand to provide information and advice on blood borne viruses, drugs and alcohol.

 

The move coincides with World Hepatitis Day 2012, which aims to raise awarenessn of the disease. Hepatitis is a swelling of the liver and can occur as a result of a viral infection.

 

Maureen Woods, Harm Reduction Team Leader for NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Approximately one in 12 people worldwide are living with either hepatitis B or C. In

Lanarkshire, 170 people were newly diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2011. However, the majority of those infected are unaware that they have the disease, which is why testing is so important if they think they have put themselves at risk.

 

“A lot of people can find it quite daunting to visit their doctor about hepatitis. The outreach van allows people to pop in and discuss any fears they may have, get reassurance and receive testing.”

 

Hepatitis can occur where there is a risk of blood to blood contact for example injecting drugs and sharing needles. There is also a risk from tattooing and body piercing from an unreliable source and sharing personal hygiene items with an infected person such as razors and toothbrushes.