World Hepatitis Day 2018

On World Hepatitis Day 2018 we commissioned a study of the public to gain an understanding of awareness of hepatitis C. Despite 80% of respondents stating they thought they knew what hepatitis C is, less than 40% knew that it infects the liver, and less than 30% knew the virus is curable.

Symptom awareness was low, with only a third of respondents accurately identifying tiredness, loss of appetite, vomiting and abdominal pains as signs of infection. When asked how hepatitis C is transmitted, 30% incorrectly said it was through exchanging saliva. Less than half knew that symptoms are not always obvious and can go unnoticed, leading to people living for years without knowing they are infected. 

The survey findings were used as part of a Public Health England drive to get more people tested for hepatitis C

We secured written statements of support from political leaders across the UK, including Public Health Minister Steve Brine, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, and Leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson. 

As usual, we also ran a range of awareness-raising and testing events in services across the country, as well as distributing resources and providing information to support others in marking World Hepatitis Day.