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Inside Out Webinar: Eliminating Hepatitis C in the Prison Estate

Further to the hugely successful HITT carried out at HMP Leyhill in May 2021, Hanham Secure Health ran a special ‘Inside Out’ webinar that focused on the global initiative to eliminate Hepatitis C and what we are doing locally to achieve elimination of Hepatitis C in our prisons.

Watch the video recording of the webinar here:

Why is Hep C elimination important?

Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect the liver. If left untreated, it can sometimes cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage to the liver over many years. It is a virus that often does not have any noticeable symptoms until the liver has been significantly damaged, meaning that many people have the infection without realising it. Hepatitis C is, generally, easy to treat and, using the latest medications, more than 90% of people with hepatitis C may be cured. However, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C, which means that elimination is the ultimate answer to absolute prevention.

According to the Hepatitis C Trust, “if we are to eliminate hepatitis C by 2025, it is essential we focus on the prison estate. This is because:

  • Around 90% of hep C cases in the UK can be attributed to illicit injecting drug use. There is a strong association between recent injecting drug use and acquisitive crime with 40% of people in prison believed to have injected drugs prior to arrest
  • The prevalence of hep C in prisons is at approximately 6%, compared to 0.7% in the community in the adult population. There is an even higher prevalence in the female prison estate, approximately 15-20%”

Acknowledgements:

Hanham Secure Health would like to thank the following individuals for their contributions in making this webinar:

  • Dr Catherine Glover, Clinical Director at Hanham Secure Health
  • Mark Gillyon-Powell, Head of Programme – HCV Elimination at NHS England
  • Kat Wolf, Advanced Clinical Specialist – BBV Lead at Hanham Secure Health
  • Tayo Oladapo – BBV Nurse at Hanham Secure Health
  • Jane Gitahi, Viral Specialist Nurse at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lee Devereux, South West Region Prison Coordinator at The Hepatitis C Trust
  • Simon Edwards, Peer Coordinator at The Hepatitis C Trust
  • Julia Sheehan, National Female Prisons Coordinator at The Hepatitis C Trust
  • Colette Price, Women’s Peer Support Lead at The Hepatitis C Trust

With special thanks to Lauren Stirland, Clinical Services Support Officer at Hanham Secure Health, for coordinating and supporting the webinar.