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Welsh government launches hepatitis action plan

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The Welsh Assembly Government issued a new action plan to identify people at risk of blood borne viral hepatitis and to improve care for people living with the infection.

The plan, which has been issued for public consultation until mid-July, provides a clear timeframe for the planning and provision of key services in Wales.

The services intend to reduce the transmission of hepatitis infection, reduce the pool of undiagnosed infection and improve the provision of treatment and support to infected individuals.

Between 12,000 and 14,000 people in Wales are infected with hepatitis C but the majority are unaware of their infection.

Dr Marion Lyons, Head of the National Public Health Service for Wales Blood Borne Virus Programme, said: ‘Transmission of blood borne viruses can be prevented but is common amongst high-risk groups in Wales.  If prevention measures are not implemented, the number of people infected by hepatitis B and C will rise and this adds to the disease burden in Wales.’

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