By National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

Scientists have revealed a new method of delivering hepatitis C testing and treatment to people who inject drugs which will help bring the world a step closer to eliminating the virus.

  • Scientists publish first blueprint for getting hepatitis C treatment out to people who inject drugs in their own communities
  • New expert guide pioneered in NHS Tayside will help the roll out of treatment across the UK and around the world
  • Scottish Government hails recommendations a "valuable resource" in eliminating the virus in Scotland. 

A team of experts, led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and the University of Bristol, in collaboration with NHS Tayside and the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF), have just published a ‘game-changing’ blueprint on how best to get hepatitis C treatment to those who need it most after a successful three-year trial in NHS Tayside.

The breakthrough in getting treatment to those who inject drugs – studied as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)-funded EPIToPe (Evaluating the population impact of hepatitis C direct-acting antiviral treatment as prevention for PWID (people who inject drugs) project – will help guide efforts in Scotland to eliminate hepatitis C by 2024.

Key recommendations include introducing a nurse-led community service for hepatitis C testing and treatment, recruiting peer workers who know the local drug culture and creating close ties between existing community services for people who inject drugs.