Hepatitis C and mental illness

by Dr V. R. Badrakalimuthu and Dr D. Rumball


Last updated: September 2018 by Dr D. Pang, Dr E. Day and Dr M. Pucci


In May 2016, the UK signed up to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on Viral Hepatitis, which commits participating countries to the elimination of hepatitis C as a major public health threat by 2030.


Most recent estimates suggest that around 160,000 individuals in the UK are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) (Public Health England, 2018).


Data from UK surveys of patients who inject drugs (PWID) do not suggest any reduction in numbers of new HCV infections over recent years. Estimated prevalence of hepatitis C infection among intravenous drug uses was 27% in 2016, compared with 24% in 2008 (Public Health England, 2018).


Psychiatrists need to be aware of the important and complex issues involved in the treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) presenting with co-occurring severe mental illness and HCV infection.


The aim of this module is to explore the relationship between hepatitis C and mental health and to offer guidance on management. This is particularly applicable to addiction and liaison psychiatrists as they deal with the complex areas of hepatitis C, substance misuse and the effects on physical and mental health.


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If you like this module, you may also be interested in:


Dual diagnosis: the diagnosis and treatment of depression with co-existing substance misuse by Dr Roger Bloor and Professor Ilana Crome


Essentials of Physical Health in Psychiatry (book from RCPsych Publications)



BJPsych Advances: related articles for CPD Online



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