e-Bulletin 8

The benefits of benefits

The major changes that are currently being proposed to welfare benefits could have a large impact on those affected by chronic illnesses such as Hepatitis B and C and HIV.  As highlighted in our last bulletin, Hepatitis Scotland are co-hosting a series of events throughout Scotland  to

• Explain how people living Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV are likely to be affected by the changes

• Give people living with BBVs the chance to voice their views and talk about the  key issues for them in relation to the changes.

These free events – open to anyone with an interest in the issue – are a series of round-Scotland  roadshows to explain and explore the likely impact of the UK Government’s controversial proposals currently passing through Westminster.

A timetable of national dates is available here.


Local Events


C U, C Me, C Hep C


C U, C Me, C Hep C

Glasgow North West Drama group return to the stage at Maryhill on the 9th March at 7pm with their acclaimed production of C U, C Me, C Hep C. For your FREE ticket please call Gordon on 0141 3322520 or email gpeacock@c-level.org.uk. You can read a review here and the poster is here.

The group will also be appearing at an event presented by the patient support group CForth in Forth Valley on the 16th March.

Expressive Arts Studio
16 March – Buffet served @ 6pm
To book your FREE ticket c

Petra @ 0131 777 0989 OR 07742 407839


Fife BBV Network Conference,

Developing the Network; Bridging the Gaps’
22 March 2012 - Strathearn Hotel, 2 Wishart Place, Kirkcaldy, KY1 2AS
10.30 a.m. – 4 p.m. (registration from 10 a.m.)

The conference is open to all members of the community and professionals. 
Please register by email before the closing date of 24 February giving your full name, job title (if applicable), address and telephone number to m.grzywa@addaction.org.uk or telephone 01382 206888 on a Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.



New Day, New Data: Vaccination

A University of Alberta research team is one step closer to developing a vaccine for hepatitis C that appears to work against all the major viral types. The research data, from the University of Alberta, was recently presented to a Canada Excellence Research Chairs Summit in Vancouver by Michael Houghton, the researcher who first identified and cloned the Hepatitis C virus..

The vaccine, made from one genotype of hepatitis C, produces antibodies that can potentially neutralize all the hepatitis C genotypes currently identified. However the trial  vaccine worked better at preventing infection by some genotypes better than others.

It was also reported that the vaccine may be of theraupeutic benefit, when used in coinjunction with drug treatments, for those already affected by Hepatitis C.

If further investigation continues to show promise, the vaccine would not be likely to be available for 5 to 7 years.

(Source Calgary Herald)


World Hepatitis Day Webcast


To support the public awareness raising activities of World Hepatitis Day, in the following week Hepatitis Scotland will be presenting a number of interactive webcast educational lectures aimed at raising awareness amongst those in the wider workforce who have a part to play in preventing, identifying or treating Hepatitis B and C.

To enable as many as possible to be able to access the lectures we would initially like to assess whether there is a preference for the events to be run on 4 successive late afternoons (4pm-5pm) during the week or together on a single afternoon. Due to technology restrictions of remoter areas the format will be a recorded webcast alongside an online interactive chatroom, and possibly a twitter feed, where the presenter will be available to answer any questions raised. Please email leon@hepatitisscotland.org.uk regarding your preferences and any suggested topics.


Scottish Prisons Survey


The profile of Hepatitis C awareness, testing and information has improved most remarkably of any matter in the Prisoners Survey 2011. 88% ‘know what Hepatitis C is’. A falling percent ‘think they might be Hepatitis C positive’ – (10%, formerly 16% in 2007). A sharply rising percentage were tested for Hepatitis C before coming into prison (42%, up from 23% in 2007 and 2008), with also a sharp rise in the proportion ‘ever been tested for Hepatitis C in prison – now 48%, up from 31-33% in the previous 3 surveys, and an even higher percentage willing to take the test in prison’ (85%, formerly 81% in the previous 3 surveys).

On high risk behaviour relating to drugs, the picture on injecting drug use in prison has improved only marginally and probably not significantly. 7% have ever injected in prison (down from 9% in 2009) and 1% in the last month, (was 3% in the previous 3 surveys). The proportion sharing their injecting equipment has fallen to 69% of those who injected, down from 80%.

The picture on body piercing is improving slightly – 22% of prisoners have a body piercing and 1 in 10 received the piercing whilst in prison. 59% have a tattoo and 1 in 8 report that they received a tattoo in prison (a separate needs assessment on tattooing is available with further detail and major insights into the position in prisons.) Of those reporting getting tattoos in prison the proportion has fallen from 19% to 13% over 5 years.  Scottish Prisons Survey Health Notes

(SPS, 2011)


US recommends Hep B vaccination advice to include diabetics

The US Centre for Disease Control has recently recommended that Hepatitis B vaccination  include diabetic under 60. This was based on recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization  Advice that all previously unvaccinated adults aged 19 through 59 years with diabetes mellitus (type 1 and type 2) be vaccinated against hepatitis B as soon as possible after a diagnosis of diabetes is made.


Tune in to Hep C

In the United States Grammy award-winning singer Jon Secada has joined the “Tune in to Hep C”,  campaign by the American Liver Association’s, working alongside fellow musicians Greg Allman and Natalie Cole, to raise awareness of undiagnosed Hepatitis C.
Jon has decided to speak out after losing his father last year to complications caused by Hepatitis C. The
singer-songwriter’s father, Jose, didn’t tell anyone about his diagnosis for a decade, failing to get the help he needed.

The campaign is being supported by Merck, manufacturers of Boceprivir.


Managing Side Effects of New Treatments

Adding the recently approved  protease inhibitors boceprevir  or telaprevir  to standard of care therapy increases the likelihood of viral clearance but can also lead to more adverse events. However side effects are usually  manageable without stopping therapy, according to a recent review by a French team.



The Hepatitis Scotland e-Bulletin can be an opportunity to share views, experiences, and knowledge through our Scotland and sector-wide contact list, with the potential to enhance and enrich understanding on a diverse range of issues. If you have any successful projects, local research or insights about other recent research, innovative ideas, local events or would simply like to express your views, why not put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and forward it to us at leon@hepatitisscotland.org.uk and we’ll consider it for inclusion in the e-Bulletin.


Hepatitis Scotland
91 Mitchell Street
G1 3LN

Telephone: 0141 225 0419
Fax: 0141 248 6414