We know it’s important, we act like it’s important; we offer BBV tests and vaccinations to everyone who comes into Visions
- Mark, Clinical Lead
Blood-borne viruses (BBVs) are viruses that some people carry in their blood and can be spread from one person to another. Those infected with a BBV may show little or no symptoms of serious disease, but other infected people may be severely ill.
Using drugs or alcohol can sometimes increase your chances of contracting a BBV whether this is from sharing drug using equipment, or from the possibility of partaking in more at-risk behaviours such as unprotected sex. We offer 100% of people accessing our service vaccinations from hepatitis B and also offer testing for hepatitis C. This is something we offer to everyone at the start of their treatment and we also encourage people to reconsider testing at all opportunities throughout their treatment journey.
We have good links with local services that provide care and treatment for anyone positive for BBVs and can help to support you through any testing and treatment journeys you may have.
What is Hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus that primarily affects the liver. It can often have no symptoms for many years so people will not necessarily know they have come into contact with it. Around 20% of people who come in to contact with hepatitis C do not go on to develop the virus, this is called spontaneous clearance (this is cleared natural). Our aim is to increase awareness, testing and treatment, with service users being offered on-going support where necessary. We also try and reduce the stigma, and myths that surrounds Hepatitis C and blood borne viruses in general.