Following the success of their first rapid testing for Hepatitus C event in March, NCCWN Clare Women’s Network and GOSHH will run a second event in Ennis.
The free rapid Hepatits C testing event will take place on Monday, June 17th from 10am – 1pm at the Clare Women’s Network premises in the Clonroad Business Park, Ennis. People do not need to book in advance, they can just drop in on the day. Rapid HIV tests are also available. Results for both are immediate.
The only way to know whether you have Hepatitis C or not is to be tested. GOSHH have been providing Hepatitis C tests to people since 2015. The testing service has been steadily growing and is contributing to finding unknown cases within communities as well as linking people back in with medical care, so they can access treatment. Hepatitis C is now completely curable, it comes in the form of one tablet a day for 12 weeks with little or no side effects.
Having already been through the testing process Elaine D’Alton, NCCWN Clare Women’s Network Coordinator, stated how quick and easy the whole process was, “I was nervous at first, but the tester from GOSHH, Billie, completely put me at ease. They talked me through the entire process and allowed me to ask any questions I had, I didn’t feel rushed or under any pressure. The results were given to me there and then. I’m really glad I did it.”
GOSHH also offer full support for people around their test results, with support workers on hand to answer questions, clarify issues, talk you through the testing process, and, what happens next if you get a positive test result. Billie Stoica, Community Support Project Worker at GOSHH said “If someone is tested, and treated, Hepatitis C can be cured. I think it is important that everyone gets tested, and Clare is often forgotten, that’s why we are teaming up with community based groups in Clare, to provide updated information and testing.”
On average, in Ireland, over 600 people a year are newly diagnosed with Hepatitis C. These infections might not be new, as it is possible to live with Hepatitis C for 30 years or more without obvious symptoms, but those people did not know they were living with a potentially fatal infection until they were tested. It is also estimated that another 60% of people may well be living with Hepatitis C but not know about it. According to the 2017 Annual Report on Hepatitis C from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, the median average age for males and females to be diagnosed with Hepatitis C in 2017 was 40-41 years old. A small percentage of these new cases were likely to have been sexually transmitted but many people have no knowledge of where their Hep C could have come from.
Free Rapid Hep C and HIV testing
Monday June 17th10am – 1pm
NCCWN Clare Women’s Network, Education and Training Centre, Clonroad Business Park, Ennis, Co. Clare.
For further information please contact:
Elaine D’Alton NCCWN Clare Women’s Network Coordinator 085-1554800
Billie Stoica, Community Support Project Worker, GOSHH 061-314354 or 087-2192848