Going Viral is a national campaign led by Barts Health to routinely test emergency patients for three common viruses; HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Further information is below:
From 13 – 20 October 2014, the campaign will see everyone who needs a blood test in emergency departments at 10 hospitals across the UK* being offered a test for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. At Barts Health, we will test in all three of our emergency departments. There is no obligation on patients to agree to be tested, but we hope that many will be happy to be involved in order to facilitate early treatment for any who test positive.
This initiative is the first of its kind in the NHS and, as such, we hope that it will generate considerable interest in the media and local community to help raise awareness of the viruses among the wider public. There is currently very little routine screening for Hepatitis in GP clinics and hospitals, and HIV testing is not widespread. Over half of the people living with HIV or Hepatitis in the UK were diagnosed late, causing severe damage and enabling transmission to other people. Through this campaign, doctors aim to prove that routine screening of people in areas most at risk – including East London – will save lives and reduce transmission to others.
Going Viral follows a successful similar, smaller campaign that the Trust undertook last year called Test Me East. The week-long campaign offered all outpatients across Barts Health hospitals the opportunity to be tested for HIV. The campaign tested approximately 96 per cent (2,400 of 2,500) patients during the week and found 8 HIV positive people, who all went on to receive the appropriate care and treatment.
Please contact Heidi Mulhall in our press team if you would like further information.