Many people who have hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV do not realise it because symptoms can be mild, vague or just go unnoticed.
Hepatitis B and C
Those at risk of having hepatitis B or C include anyone who was born, or has had surgical treatment in, Asia, Africa, South America, Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe or the Middle East.
Other risk factors include if you had a blood transfusion or organ transplant in the UK before 1991, if you have ever pricked yourself on a needle or sharp object that has been used on someone else, or if you have had a tattoo or piercing in unregistered premises or with non-sterile equipment.
Anyone with hepatitis B or C can pass it on to partners - by knowing they are infected, individuals can protect those close to them and prevent this from happening.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's defence system preventing it from fighting illnesses and infections.
It can be passed on through unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing contaminated needles and syringes, from an infected mother to her baby and from contaminated blood or blood products.
New HIV testing kits: We are looking at new ways to deliver services to local residents and, for a year, we are piloting the provision of free HIV testing kits which can be posted to your address.
Where to get tested
Hackney residents who may be at risk of having contracted one of these diseases can get a free, confidential test from GP surgeries and Homerton Sexual Health Services at:
- Clifden Centre at Homerton University Hospital
- Ivy Centre at St Leonards in Hoxton
- John Scott Health Centre near Woodberry Down
Effective treatment is available on the NHS for anyone who is diagnosed.
For more information, including a full list of symptoms and risk factors, contact: