Hepatitis C: free testing events in Gloucestershire

28 Mar 2024, 5:03 p.m.

The World Health Organisation has set a target to end Hepatitis C worldwide by 2030. To help achieve this goal, the NHS is offering free testing to those who might be at risk.

Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver. If left untreated, it can sometimes cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver over many years. Hepatitis C often does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged. This means many people have the infection without realising it.

But with modern treatments, it's usually possible to cure the infection, and most people with it will have a normal life expectancy.

It's estimated around 118,000 people in the UK had chronic Hepatitis C in 2019.

You can become infected with it if you come into contact with the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis C is usually spread through blood-to-blood contact.

Some ways the infection can spread include:

  • Sharing unsterilised needles – including needles for recreational drugs, steroids or beauty treatments like botox
  • Sharing drug paraphernalia (spoons, needles, straws, filters, water)
  • A needlestick injury
  • Tattooing and body piercing
  • Sharing razors or toothbrushes
  • Living with someone with Hep C
  • Being street homeless or spending time in prison
  • Blood transfusions before September 1991
  • It can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby
  • Rarely, it can be transmitted through unprotected sex
  • Some countries have a higher prevalence of Hepatitis C, so there can be a risk from dental and surgical treatment in some countries in Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East.

Read more about Hepatitis C on the NHS website

Forest of Dean testing events

We have testing events in the Forest of Dean at the venues and dates below.

  • April 10 10:30 am – 1:30 pm The Salvation Army, 43 North Road. Broadwell. GL16 7BX
  • April 15 10 am - 2 pm Acorn House, Belle Vue Road, Cinderford, GL14 2AA
  • April 22 11 am-1:30 pm Candi Space, 31 Market Street, Cinderford GL14 2RT