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How can nurses raise awareness of hepatitis C?

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Key points

  • Many people are unaware of their hepatitis C virus infection due to its asymptomatic nature or non-specific symptoms
  • Diagnosis usually involves testing serum for both anti-HCV antibodies and HCV ribonucleic acid
  • Sharing equipment among injecting drug users is the most common route of infection in industrialised countries
  • This group is under-represented in testing and treatment programmes for HCV, despite being most at risk
  • The primary goal of therapy is to cure the infection and attain a sustained virological response

Let’s discuss

  • What you know about hepatitis C? If you need to update your knowledge, you may find this overview of the condition useful.
  • Why is it important to increase awareness of hepatitis C among the South Asian community?
  • The author of this paper found that awareness of hepatitis C was better in London than Bedford. How can this difference be explained?
  • What barriers prevent people from South Asian community coming forward for screening for hepatitis C?
  • After reading the article, what strategies would you adopt to raise awareness among this population?
  • Recent figures from HPA suggest a rise in the numbers of people presenting with liver damage as a result of Hepatitis C. How could this be prevented?
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