Blood Borne Virus Testing
Blood borne viruses (BBVs) like hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV are a serious public health concern. It is crucial that those in high-risk groups such as injecting drug users are tested regularly so that appropriate treatment decisions can be made.
When taking whole blood samples, poor venous access and a lack of trained staff can lead to poor screening uptake. Our dried blood spot testing service gives a simple, quick, cost effective method for regular screening whilst increasing uptake in groups where whole blood samples are less popular1.
- CE marked kit
- No venous access required
- Quick and easy sample collection that can be carried out by any trained healthcare professional
- Only test for the blood borne viruses you need
- Screen for active hepatitis C virus using PCR without an initial antibody screen
- Free management information
- Hepatitis C Antibody
- Hepatitis C Qualitative PCR
- Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
- Hepatitis B Core Antibody
- HIV Antigen/Antibody
Among people who inject psychoactive drugs, such as heroin and mephedrone, around two in five are living with hepatitis C; half of these infections are undiagnosed. About one in 30 of those who inject image and performance enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids, are living with hepatitis C.
Around 90% of the hepatitis C infections diagnosed in the UK will have been acquired through injecting drug use. Across the UK, 13,758 hepatitis C infections were diagnosed during 2013. 2
Around one in 200 people who have injected psychoactive drugs are living with hepatitis B infection. 3
Around one in every 100 people who inject drugs is living with HIV. 2
1 Hickman, M., McDonald, T., Judd, A., Nicholes, T., Hope, V. et al., 'Increasing the uptake of hepatitis C virus testing among injecting drug user in specialist drug treatment and prison settings by using dried blood spots for diagnostic testing: a cluster randomized controlled trial'. Journal of Viral Hepatitis (2008) 15; 250-598
2 HPA: Shooting Up: Infections among people who inject drugs in the UK 2013 An update: November 2014 [pdf 392KB]
3 Hepatitis C in the UK 2014 report [pdf 4.6MB]
UK public health recommendations
Testing needs to be sustained among those attending specialist services for people who use drugs, and enhanced across the prison estate; the use of newer technologies, like dried blood spot testing, that make testing easier in non - clinical settings should be further expanded throughout the UK.3