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Campaign to treat 2,000 for hep C

People who had a blood transfusion before 1982 or who may have shared items such as razors with a person infected with hepatitis C are being targeted by a campaign to tackle the disease.

The initiative features advertising focused on those who may be at most risk.

As many as 2,000 new people will be treated each year if the Scottish Government's plans are successful.

Public health minister Shona Robison said: "Although most people contract hepatitis C through injecting drug-use, eight in 10 people currently infected are not currently injecting drugs.

"The main aim of this campaign is to get more people to come forward for testing.

"However, it will also dispel some myths surrounding hep C - for instance, you can't catch hep C through saliva and in the main it's spread through blood-to-blood contact."

She said it can be treated and completely cured in up to 80% of cases, reducing the chance of liver damage and complications.

Hepatitis C is a virus carried in the blood that can lead to scarring on the liver, liver cancer or liver failure.

About 200,000 people in the UK are thought to have long-term hepatitis C and around a half of those are undiagnosed, often showing no symptoms.

In Scotland, about 40,000 people have the virus but about 60% of those are undiagnosed, the government said.

Scottish Government