(PRWEB) May 05, 2013
The survey, conducted by the online community hepatitisCnews.com, also found low awareness of the virus, and four out of ten respondents admitted that they had never heard of hepatitis C until they were diagnosed.
While 87% told their family and friends about their diagnosis, over 70% said that people they told had a limited understanding of how the virus is transmitted.
One respondent said: “Education and open discussion is needed within the media, much as there has been with mental illness and depression.”
Almost eight out of 10 felt there is not enough help or support for people living with the hepatitis C virus.
Often called a silent disease, as it often does not result in any symptoms, hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted through contact with an infected person’s blood. The hepatitis C virus can cause serious damage to the liver and, if it is not treated, can result in scarring of the liver, cancer and even death. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 150 million people are living with the virus worldwide.
Dr Matthew Foxton, consultant hepatologist at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and King’s College Hospital said: “While it is encouraging that there is an increased openness about hepatitis C, there are still many misconceptions as to how it is transmitted. Greater awareness and understanding about hepatitis C will not only reduce the stigma experienced by so many people but also reduce the risk of transmission.”
The survey was carried out by hepatitiscnews.com, an online community and news resource for people living with hepatitis C. The site features tips on living well with the virus, details of resources and support groups worldwide, expert advice and regular news and features on hepatitis C and liver disease.
For further information, visit http://www.hepatitiscnews.com.
Contact Tudor Reilly Health
Christine Lydon at Tudor Reilly
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7034 3200