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Going Viral week

Friday 22 August 2014

13-20 October 2014

Led by Barts Health, 10 Emergency Departments across the UK have united to offer '3 in 1' testing for HIV, Hepatitis B (Hep B), Hepatitis C (Hep C) for Going Viral week.

Going Viral is unique

Previous campaigns have focused on either HIV or on Hep B or C. Testing Emergency Department patients for all three viruses together has not been done before. From 13-20 October 2014, everyone who has bloods taken in an Emergency Department in participating hospitals will be offered an easy “3 in 1” test to diagnose HIV, Hep B and Hep C.

Going Viral aims to:

  • encourage early testing for HIV and Hepatitis.
  • encourage healthcare professionals to offer HIV and Hepatitis tests to all Emergency Department patients as part of routine care.
  • show policy makers that it is feasible and necessary to screen hospital attendees for HIV, Hep B and Hep C in places the viruses are common within local communities.

Why is a Going Viral week needed?

World-wide, HIV, Hep B and Hep C are the commonest serious chronic viral illnesses. These viruses contribute disproportionately to mortality and ill health when diagnosed late.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO):

  • 35 million people are living with HIV
  • 150 million people are living with Hep B
  • 240 million people are living with Hep C

Going Viral is a campaign which originates in east London because some of the highest rates of HIV, Hep B and Hep C exist in the country. In the UK, at least half of people living with these viruses are diagnosed late, only once they develop symptoms. This causes treatment to be delayed in many cases. Being diagnosed is also the key to preventing transmission.

What we will offer those diagnosed

If someone is found to be living with HIV, Hep B or Hep C we will let them know their diagnosis and arrange for a clinic visit with a nurse or doctor to discuss results and future NHS treatment options. We will also provide information and support.