The Hepatitis C antibody testing service that was delayed due the Covid-19 pandemic has now been launched.
This new advanced service is focused on provision of point of care testing for Hepatitis C (Hep C) antibodies to people who inject drugs (PWIDs), i.e. individuals who inject illicit drugs, e.g. steroids or heroin, but who haven’t yet moved to the point of accepting treatment for their substance use. Where people test positive for Hep C antibodies, they will be referred for a confirmatory test and treatment, where appropriate.
The service is part of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s national programme to eliminate Hep C virus as a major public health threat by 2025. The service aims to use community pharmacies to target PWIDs for testing, as they are the healthcare venue most likely to be visited by that group of people.