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Nurses need greater awareness of Hepatitis C

  • 3 Comments

Nurses must see Hepatitis C as a disease, rather than stigmatising people suffering from it, or risk a “major public health emergency”, a charity has warned.

Hepatitis C Trust chief executive Charles Gore said nurses often assume patients with Hepatitis C are drug addicts or alcoholics, and see them as “problem patients”.

A survey by the trust, shared exclusively with Nursing Times, showed that 77 per cent of the 233 Hepatitis C patients questioned have felt stigmatised because of their condition, and more than half have faced discrimination from both the public and healthcare staff.

This could stop patients with Hepatitis C seeking treatment for their condition, or coming forward to be tested if they think they have the disease.

Mr Gore said: “[Nurses]need to try and address Hepatitis C as a disease rather than concentrating on the fact that drug use is a major risk factor.

 “Well over 50 per cent of people who have Hepatitis C are not yet diagnosed. This could become a major public health emergency if something is not done to tackle the situation now.”

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • The average nurse will just be grateful it is not tuberculosis this time... I doubt Hep C or drug users really bother people exposed to alcoholics, psychosis or HIV on a daily basis

    Drug users need help and support but they need to be willing to take it. Many drug users are unsavoury characters and intensely difficult to be around. Others are vulnerable. It's not our fault or "lack of knowledge".

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  • Anonymous, you can't be serious? Please re-read your post, and if you still think what you said is correct then your pretty much brain dead. I hope no one in your family ever gets the disease of addiction. It affects more then that one individual. Addiction is a "family disease" but they just treat that one person. You need to educate yourself on substance abuse because your clueless.

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  • when becoming a nurse you have a duty to provide the best level of care to any patient regardless wether they are unsavoury characters, drug users or addicts of any type. Who are we to judge them we should provide the same care as we would to somebody classed as "NORMAL" if they were treated as any other patient they may not be difficult to be around , they may need a bit of tlc

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