According to the Hepatitis C Trust,
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver. This can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver. It can also affect the liver’s ability to perform its essential functions. Although it has always been regarded as a liver disease – ‘hepatitis’ means ‘inflammation of the liver’ – recent research has shown that the hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects a number of other areas of the body. These can include the digestive system, the lymphatic system, the immune system and the brain.
If successful treatment can produced a Sustained Virological Response (SVR). However, if left untreated Hepatitis C is fatal.
In the 1970’s and early 1980’s every single clotting factor concentrate treatment injection taken by people with bleeding disorders contained the Hepatitis C virus. This led to up to 532 people with bleeding disorders in Scotland being infected. Many were infected with more than one strain (known as a genotype). Treatments have not been 100% successful and can have serious side affects, especially in connection with the use of Interferon. Haemophilia Scotland is campaigning for access to the new generations of Hepatitis C therapies which do not require the use of Interferon.
The infohep website provides online resources to increase awareness of viral hepatitis, its treatment, and the needs of people living with viral hepatitis in Europe. You can even get information which is targeted to your own situation using their customised information page.
The infographic below is a simple way to understand the effect of having hepatitis C.
The Irish Haemophilia Society (IHS) produce an extremely informative information magazine for people with Hepatitis C and HIV. While some of the information about support and access is specific to Ireland, the information about the state of research and the science behind current treatments is excellent. They also frequently publish personal stories about going through treatment.
In this section
Other Hepatitis C Organisations in Scotland