Hepatitis C: More than 70% of Bristolians ‘know nothing’ about virus

Image Source, ZPB Associates


Mr Hathaway began treatment for hepatitis C in 2019 and is now fully cured and recovered

A man diagnosed with hepatitis C says he is proof it can be treated and cured and urges others to get tested.

Keith Hathaway, 48, from Bristol, is supporting European Testing Week (ETW), a health initiative aimed at boosting blood testing efforts.

“When I was diagnosed with hepatitis C, I was shocked,” he said.

A survey by Preventx revealed that 73% of Bristol residents have limited or no knowledge about the disease.

People are now encouraged to buy a home test kit if they think they are at risk of contracting the virus, which can cause irreversible damage to the liver.


Mr Hathaway began his own treatment in 2019 and then continued working for the Hepatitis C Trust in 2022, raising awareness of the virus and helping others to get diagnosed.

“I was lucky that it was picked up right then,” he said. “It’s important that people get tested if they are at risk.

“I think people sometimes think hepatitis C only affects drug users or homeless people.

“That’s not the case, I’ve worked with everyone from people in the gym to people getting infections from tattoos.

“My friends and I knew nothing about it. I am living proof that hepatitis C can be cured and treated.”

Image Source, Getty Images


Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that is acquired through blood contact

ETW is raising awareness of a range of diseases, including hepatitis C, and encouraging people to get tested as early as possible.

This continent-wide initiative is a partnership between organizations across communities, healthcare and policy agencies.

Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that is acquired through contact with the blood of an infected person.

The most common way the virus is spread is through sharing needles and other drug paraphernalia.

‘Thousands of people are at risk’

In many cases, people infected with the virus may have lived with it for decades before they began to notice symptoms, at which point their livers may have suffered irreparable damage.

However, when using simple antiviral drugs, the cure rate for the virus is almost 100%.

Rachel Halford, chief executive of the Hepatitis C Trust, said: “With public awareness of hepatitis C so low and a lack of testing within the public – there could be thousands of people without Know that you are at risk for infection.” viruses.

“If you’re worried about hepatitis C, it’s never been easier to get tested. NHS home testing kits will help you find out quickly and confidentially if you have the virus so you can start treatment immediately.”

Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and include muscle aches, loss of appetite, excessive fatigue and depression, making it easy for patients to not know they have the virus.

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