Disease tests in city centre to raise awareness

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A roadshow encouraging people to get tested for deadly hepatitis C is visiting Sheffield today.

Free tests and advice are on offer in Tudor Square from 10am to 4pm, marking World Hepatitis Day, which takes place on Sunday.

There are an estimated 2,083 people in Sheffield who have hepatitis C, the most serious form of the disease, according to figures from the Health Protection Agency.

Less than half of those cases are believed to have been diagnosed.

Meanwhile, Sheffield researchers are embarking on the first-ever UK study into why three-quarters of Chinese women and men with hepatitis B are unaware they have the virus.

Clinicians from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and Sheffield University have been awarded a £275,000 grant from the Department of Health to find out why certain communities experience ‘barriers’ to testing.

The team found that 20 out of 229 Chinese women and men who took part in a pilot study were found to have hepatitis B when given blood tests. Out of these 20, only six knew they had the illness. Hepatitis affects the liver, causing cirrhosis or scarring.