Hepatitis screening and treatment has seen a marked decrease during the pandemic, according to experts in infectious diseases.

Viral hepatitis is a liver infection caused by a virus. The most well know are Hepatitis A, B and C, with Hepatitis B transmitted primarily sexually. The best protection against an infection is a vaccine. Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood. Untreated, both of these types of hepatitis can lead to liver cirrhosis and other major damage, just like excessive alcohol consumption, warns Paulette Lenert, Minister for Health.

Anyone who has been exposed to a situation with a high risk of Hepatitis C infection should get tested at least once in their life, according to the Ministry for Health and the service "HIV-Berodung" from the Red Cross. This screening can also detect an HIV infection.

Who should get tested?

First, if you have a parent or a partner who suffers from chronic hepatitis. Secondly, if you have had blood contact (transfusion, surgery, dental care, tattoo, piercings, etc.) before the 1990s or in a country outside the European Union. Thirdly, if you have injected or snorted drugs, even if only a single time, or if your partner has done so.

To get tested, all you need to do is contact a GP and make an appointment with the service "Consultation de dépistage du Service des maladies infectieuses" at the Centre hospitalier de Luxembourg. You can also contact the service HIV-Berodung from the Red Cross for a rapid test.

As part of World Hepatitis Day, the Red Cross's mobile service DIMPS will be outside the central train station on 28 July between 11am and 3pm doing fast, anonymous and free testing for Hepatitis C and HIV.

RTL