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New initiative to reducing the spread of Hepatitis C

New "one hit kits" are being offered to drug addicts across Greater Glasgow and Clyde to help reduce the spread of Hepatitis C.

New initiative to reducing the spread of Hepatitis C

New "one hit kits" are being offered to drug addicts across Greater Glasgow and Clyde to help reduce the spread of Hepatitis C.

The National Hepatitis C Action Plan recognises that the disease is not only spread through the sharing needles but also from the sharing of other paraphernalia such as filters and spoons.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has introduced the new kits which includes a needle, spoon, filter and citric acid, along with a hard plastic safe disposal bin to ensure Hepatitis C is not spread by the sharing of equipment.

Carole Hunter, lead pharmacist in the Addictions Partnership, said in a statement: "There are more than 50,000 people with Hepatitis C across Scotland and 95% of them have become infected through injecting drug use.

"We know that the needle exchange programme has been hugely effective in reducing HIV cross-infection and the one hit kits are designed to deliver similar reductions in the spread of Hepatitis C."

She added: "We introduced the kits to our needle exchanges in February this year to ensure intravenous drug users had a complete kit of sterile equipment and to stop people sharing spoons and filters and so prevent the spread of Hepatitis C through the sharing of equipment.

"Health Boards and trusts throughout the UK are showing great levels of interest in this one hit kit initiative with a view to introducing it to their needle exchanges.

"Some health systems already do provide spoons and filters as well as needles but NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and one other board in Scotland are the only two areas using the this single package of kit complete with a safe disposal bin."

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