GWH plays host to Right Said Fred for new hepatitis C campaign

Posted: July 28, 2015

GWH plays host to Right Said Fred for new hepatitis C campaign

Swindon's Great Western Hospital (GWH) played host to world famous band Right Said Fred as part of their efforts to raise awareness of hepatitis C.

Band members Richard and Fred Fairbrass were tested for the liver disease and then filmed at GWH receiving their negative results as part of the 'I'm Not Too Sexy To Get Tested' campaign, launched today (Tuesday 28 July) on World Hepatitis Day.

A documentary chronicling the duo's thoughts on hepatitis C and their visits to the hospital also includes interviews with Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's Medical Director Guy Rooney and Consultant Hepatologist Dr Moby Joseph.

Important to get tested

Dr Rooney said: "Some people have no idea that they have hepatitis C and they have no idea until they get unwell, or they are tested for another reason, so it is really important that people come through and make testing part of their routine for other things."

Dr Joseph said: "Three out of four hepatitis C patients who I see in my clinic are from the baby-boomer age group - that's those who were born between the 1940s and 1970s. One out of 30 of the baby-boomer age group have hepatitis C, regardless of their risk."

Richard Fairbrass said: "At the time, we were unaware that our activities such as injecting steroids put us at risk of contracting hepatitis C. Like most people we knew about HIV; it was part of public consciousness and we were touched personally by it as close friends battled the disease, but hepatitis C was never on our radar.

"Facing the fact that we could be living with hepatitis C was difficult to admit and accept. We wanted to share our story to encourage others who may be at risk or potentially living with this deadly virus to get tested so they can get treated."

The campaign - named after the band's hit single 'I'm Too Sexy' - was launched by Liver4Life in partnership with Hep C Positive.

What is hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C can be passed on through infected blood. The most common cause of infection are fairly well known such as the sharing of needles via injecting recreational drugs, yet the risks associated with anabolic steroid use, tattoos, piercings or acupuncture are not.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, the disease can lead to complications such as permanent scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer and even death.

Current estimates suggest that 214,000 people have hepatitis C in the UK, however due to the silent nature of the virus and poor levels of awareness, almost half are undiagnosed.

People who suspect they may have contracted hepatitis C should talk to their doctor about being tested to give themselves the best chance of beating the infection and reducing the likelihood of serious complications. 

Translate this page: