Tests for hepatitis will be carried out at hospital

Theresa Paddon with her two children, Lee, 18 months, and Darren, three, at their home in Leigh Park

THIS WEEK IN 1984: Give me the facts says worried mum

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PEOPLE are being given advice about the dangers of contracting hepatitis to mark World Hepatitis Day on Sunday.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus contracted through contact with the blood or, less commonly, body fluids of an infected person.

In most cases, HCV causes no noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged.

People will be offered engaging peer-led sessions and those people at risk will be encouraged to get tested.

Today, confidential peer education sessions are taking place, alongside oral swab testing for the virus at the St Mary’s Recovery Centre between midday and 4pm.

David Gladders, peer recovery support worker for Portsmouth City Council and Hepatitis C support group facilitator, said: ‘I hope that by talking about Hepatitis C openly, we can make more people aware of the virus and its ramifications and encourage them to get tested and if required treated.

‘There is a lot of stigma attached to Hep C due to ignorance and lack of correct education, but we are turning this on its head and encouraging people to talk openly and honestly about it in a confidential environment.’

For more information please visit hepctrust.org.uk.