Hepatitis B
& Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis See: C Me, erase the stigma


Click here to view the PDF version of this press release


A national conference co-produced by patients and professionals, “Hepatitis See, a patient-centred conference”, which explores health, support and stigma issues faced by people affected by hepatitis C, will be held in Glasgow on Thursday 8th November.


Much discussion is occurring around Scotland as how to best work towards the World Health Organisation goal of elimination of hepatitis C by 2030 however these discussions are mainly held by professionals working in the sector. This conference looks to explore issues and bring a patient-centred perspective related to increasing access to hepatitis C treatment across Scotland.


The innovative event, funded by a grant from the Big Lottery, will pair people affected by hepatitis C alongside professionals working in the field co-presenting their stories. It aims to show how setting in place building blocks of support can have a transformative effect on someone’s health. Through shared presentations that highlight treatment experiences, this conference looks to highlight the value of all of the three core tenets of Patient-centred care, patient values, scientific evidence and clinical expertise. It is now fully booked and will be broadcast live on the internet through a webinar.


A “design a T-Shirt” competition was run concurrently with organising the conference. The t-shirt will be worn by peers, volunteers, staff and activists to help raise awareness of hepatitis C, spread the word about the hepatitis C elimination targets and encourage more people to be tested and treated, and reduce stigma. The joint winners each submitted a design that were merged together to create a visually striking t-Shirt design. In a nod to co-production the joint winners were a person who had been affected by hepatitis C and also a research adviser working in the viral hepatitis field.

The Hepatitis SEE project, developed through a partnership between Scottish charities, focuses on the everyday issues that living with hepatitis C in Scotland brings. Hepatitis SEE, an art event held at GoMA in July last year, explored the contrasting identities people possess before and after treatment, showing the positive impact treatment has on people’s lives. Other related work included an interview with the First Minister by a former hepatitis C patient, who now is a peer worker with Forth Valley Recovery Community. In the interview the First Minister committed the government to the three asks for elimination priorities for Scotland, related to the WHO targets.


Co-chair Leon Wylie from Hepatitis Scotland said, “Someone’s view of themselves or a particular behaviour can have a massive impact on whether they engage with hepatitis treatment. Many of those affected by hepatitis C encounter stigma, isolation and exclusion and have great difficulty having their voices and needs listened to. Bringing together the community for a conference will inform, involve and listen to people in a way that can provide valuable insights and inputs into the development of an effective national HCV elimination programme with patients at its heart.”.


Jardine Simpson, new CEO of the Scottish Recovery Consortium (SRC) and who helped co-create Forth Valley Recovery Community, will also co-chair on the day. He said “We (SRC) see our role as helping people who feel mariginalised towards the centre. Accessing hepatitis C treatment is often a key part of the recovery journey , a significant part of what we offered through the Forth Valley Recovery Community  was testing and support through the Hep- C treatment journey and at SRC we continue to be committed to this“.


 hepatitissee.jpg    Hep_C_Me_Tshirt.jpg


Photo credit for GoMA photo: Jim Byrne, www.beginnersguidephotography.com


Hepatitis Scotland’s Billy Hamilton and Leon Wylie show the winning t-shirt design



Notes to editors

  1. Hepatitis SEE, a patient-centred conference will be held Thursday, November 8th
    10.30am - 3.30pm at DoubleTree by Hilton, 36 Cambridge Street, G2 3HN, Glasgow
  2. Hepatitis C (HCV) disproportionately affects people in areas of high deprivation. Chronic HCV can have severe and sometimes fatal health implications for many people affected.
  3. In Scotland injecting drug use is the primary transmission route (90%), with around 34,1500 Scots having a chronic infection. An estimated 40% are still undiagnosed and 75% of those who have been diagnosed have never accessed specialist treatment services.
  4. The World Health Organisation has launched an international goal to eliminate HCV as a public health issue by 2030, the Scottish Government currently has independent experts developing a strategy for this.
  5. Hepatitis Scotland is the national voluntary sector organisation funded by the Scottish Government to help improve responses to viral hepatitis prevention, treatment and support. It works with other charities and voluntary organisations on the awareness-raising HepCScot and Hepatitis SEE projects. www.HepCScot.org
  6. The Scottish Recovery Consortium (SRC) is a recovery-orientated charity. They exist to build and promote recovery from addictions in Scotland using means and messages that are consistent with the values and practices of recovery from addictions. www.scottishrecoveryconsortium.org
  7. Press contact: Leon Wylie, Lead Officer, Hepatitis Scotland, leon@hepatitisscotland.org.uk, 07872818615


Hepatitis Scotland
91 Mitchell Street
G1 3LN

Telephone: 0141 225 0419
Fax: 0141 248 6414