Staff from Forward Leeds will join volunteers and people who’ve been supported by the service on a 10K run across Leeds.
The aim is to raise awareness of hepatitis C on World Hepatitis Day (Friday, 28 July) and encourage people who feel they may be at risk to get tested and treated.
The runners will be going from the Forward Leeds hub in Armley to the Forward Leeds hub in Seacroft. Along the way they will call in at their hub in the city centre and St James Hospital, which is where people in Leeds get treatment for hepatitis C.
Forward Leeds Operations Director Helen Cook, who is one of the people running, said: “We are calling it ‘The Race to Eliminate Hep C’. It will be on the model of carrying the Olympic Torch, passing our baton from person to person to highlight how as a city, Leeds can work together to eliminate hepatitis C.
“Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that mainly affects the liver. Many people with the disease may be unaware they have it as symptoms are not always obvious at first but it can prove fatal. That’s why we are encouraging people, particularly in high-risk groups such as people who inject drugs, to get tested as quickly as possible.
“Treatment for hepatitis C these days is a simple course of tablets with no side effects and over 95% of patients are cured, so it’s worth getting tested and treated quickly to prevent further spread of the disease.”
The ‘Race to Eliminate Hep C’ will begin at Armley Park Court, the Forward Leeds hub in west Leeds, at 10.30am and hopes to arrive at Irford House, the Forward Leeds hub in east Leeds at around 1pm.
The baton has been designed and created for the event by Open Source Arts on Kirkstall Road.
Hepatitis early symptoms
Only around one in every three or four people will have any symptoms during the first 6 months of a hepatitis C infection. This stage is known as acute hepatitis C.
If symptoms do develop, they usually occur a few weeks after infection. Symptoms may include:
- a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or above
- loss of appetite
- tummy (abdominal) pains
- feeling and being sick
Around one in five people who experiences symptoms will also have yellowing of the eyes and skin. This is known as jaundice.
More details here.