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This e-Bulletin focuses on this year's Scottish World Hepatitis Day campaign and events, including a Hep C awareness raising animation produced by Hepatitis Scotland and an international event in Glasgow organised by the World Hepatitis Alliance and supported by the World Health Organisation and local partners, including Hepatitis Scotland.
The Scottish World Hepatitis Day campaign 'HepCScot' (or the Big Red C campaign) was officially launched on the 8th of July just outside the Scottish Parliament. This is a joint campaign by Hepatitis Scotland,Waverley Care, The Hepatitis C Trust, Positive Help,Addaction and a number of NHS managed care networks.
The campaign, now in it's second year, aims to raise awareness of Hepatitis C and seeks to encourage people who may have ever been at risk of contracting the virus to get tested.
The campaign sees bus and train advertisements appear in 5 different health board areas (Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Lothian, Fife and Forth Valley). Campaign posters and leaflets have also been widely distributed across these areas, as well as in Tayside, Ayrshire and Arran and Grampian.
In addition to this there are a wide variety of events happening across Scotland. Around 20 Hepatitis C conversation cafes or awareness raising and testing events are taking place, supported and promoted by Big Red C displays prior to these events. Dry blood spot testing will be provided by Waverley Care at events in Glasgow and Edinburgh for those attending.
This year the World Hepatitis Alliance will be holding a 2 day international event in Glasgow on July 27th and World Hepatitis Day itself, coinciding with the city's hosting of the Commonwealth Games. The event will be supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), GGC NHS, Waverley Care, Hep C Trust and Hepatitis Scotland. Waverley Care will be providing Dry Blood Spot testing at a marquee on site throughout both days.
With one of the largest LED screens in the world the event at St Enoch Square aims to raise awareness of viral hepatitis amongst the thousands of people attending the Games.
Tear down the wall!
The screen will show an interactive ‘tweet wall’ made of bricks showing negative aspects of viral hepatitis that people living with the disease face every day. Every time someone sends a tweet with the campaign hashtag #ThinkHepatitis, a brick will turn around to reveal a positive truth, challenging people’s preconceptions about viral hepatitis.
There is an opportunity for people to get involved from anywhere in the world with live streaming of the wall on theWorld Hepatitis Day website from 24th-29th July. Wherever someone is in the world, a tweet to #ThinkHepatitis can change a negative message to a positive one.
Once the wall has been changed to all positive messages, the bricks will break down to reveal key messages and the World Hepatitis Day video.
On the 28th of July WHO will also be running a tweet chat using #ThinkHepatitis. Experts from around the globe will be answering your questions on viral hepatitis with the @WHO twitter account.
WHA have also released a song and video to highlight viral hepatitis.
Hepatitis Scotland has launched a new Hepatitis C awareness raisinganimation titled Ewe At Risk? (#EweAtRisk). This short animation video is designed primarily to raise risk awareness of Hepatitis C and blood borne viruses among young people. It aims to highlight the risks of sharing needles and other injecting equipment – whether that be for use in injecting illicit drugs, new psychoactive substances, or performance and image enhancing drugs such as steroids – with a strong prevention message directing people to Hepatitis Scotland’s comprehensive Hepatitis C website.
The Youtube video was launched via a social media Thunderclap on Twitter and Facebook with 109 organisations and individuals posting the video to their social media sites, giving the campaign a social media reach of over 125,000 people. The Thunderclap was supported by various NHS boards, NHS Inform, Scot Gov Health, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, the Terrence Higgins Trust, the Hepatitis C Trust and Waverley Care.
There are a large number of Hepatitis C conversation cafes and awareness raising/testing events taking place in towns and cities throughout Scotland. These are open to people affected by Hepatitis C, those working with people affected and the local public. Discussion topics include new Hepatitis C treatments, Hep C prevention, barriers to accessing care and healthy living with Hepatitis C.
You can find a full list of these by healthboard area on the Hepatitis Scotland website. The first two took place on Wednesday 16th July with the Glasgow North event attracting over 90 attendees with significant numbers getting tested.
Please note that some of these events are still awaiting certain details to be confirmed. Full details will be added as they become available. For further information on any of these contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 225 0419.
You can keep up to date with all events and activities taking place around World Hepatitis Day by following Hepatitis Scotland on Twitter @hepscotland or by following/liking the campaign Facebook page.
You can use the Twitter hashtag #hepCscot to tweet pictures of events you have participated in or attended, or to ask questions about the campaign or indeed any questions about viral hepatitis.