Today is World Hepatitis Day, and the St George’s Viral Hepatitis Team is encouraging people to get tested for hepatitis C.

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus that can infect the liver and if left untreated may cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver.

Hepatitis C is known as a silent disease which means that there are often no noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

As a result of this many people have the infection without knowing.

It is estimated that there are 6,000 people living with Hepatitis C in South West London with nearly 50 per cent of them unaware they have the virus.

NHS England have a target to eliminate Hepatitis C by 2025.

How do you get hepatitis C?

The hepatitis C virus is usually spread through blood-to-blood contact. Some risk factors for the virus include;

• If you received a blood transfusion or blood products before 1992

• If you are a resident or a regular visitor to high risk areas such as South Asia and Eastern Europe

• If you have ever injected drugs, even once

• Medical, dental or cosmetic procedures performed abroad

• Body piercing and tattooing

• Sharing toothbrushes or razors


Treatment of hepatitis C is easier than ever with tablet-only treatment available.

A course of medicine can be as short as 8 weeks, very easy to tolerate and over 95 per cent of people with hepatitis C are cured.

How to get tested

If you think you are at risk of hepatitis C and would like to be tested, contact the Viral Hepatitis Team, your community pharmacy or your GP for further details.

For more information contact the Viral Hepatitis Team by calling 0208 725 0758 or email

The St George’s Viral Hepatitis Team work with local community services to provide testing, treatment and education alongside our Hepatitis C Trust Peers to help to eliminate hepatitis C by 2025.

If you are interested in setting up a testing or educational event in your local community group, please do not hesitate to contact us.