Hepatitis C infection rates are highest in injection drug user populations.
A major new study involving drug users is to explore a way of eliminating the killer Hepatitis C virus.
Hundreds of Scots will take part in the research led by Glasgow Caledonian and Bristol universities.
The virus, a major cause of liver disease and cancer, affects around 200,000 people in the UK, with most having injected drugs.
The £2.8m study will look at whether the virus can be stopped entirely if treatment is sufficiently increased.
Currently, treatment can cure more than 90% of patients within eight to 12 weeks with few side effects, however the cost of new anti-virals is significant.
During the study, researchers will treat up to 500 people in NHS Tayside who inject drugs over a period of two years.
Treatment will be offered in a number of settings including pharmacies, addiction services and prisons.
It is anticipated this “major and rapid scale-up of treatment” will reduce chronic Hepatitis C in the population of people who inject drugs by two-thirds.
The results will be used to guide clinical practice and policy, and support NHS decisions on whether drug users should be targeted for early treatment in the community.
|Read on: Drug-user study to look at eliminating Hepatitis C virus – BBC News|