Blood borne viruses can affect people from all walks of life:
- people who received blood transfusions/ blood products before 1991
- vertical transmission (mother-to-baby) although the risk is low
- people born in countries of high prevalence e.g South East Asia, China, sub-Saharan Africa and the Amazon Basin Eastern and Southern Europe, the Middle East: or those who travelled and received dental or medical treatment in these areas
- people who have injected or used illicit drugs and shared ’works’ even once - needles, spoons, notes, straws, pans etc.
- unprotected sexual intercourse. Those at a higher risk are men who have sex with men (MSM), depending on sexual practices and the use of ‘party-drugs’
- people who have had tattoos or piercings in unlicensed parlours
- individuals who inject image-enhancing drugs (steroids)
- patients presenting with abnormal liver function tests (LFTs) in their blood tests, could be have possibly been at risk at some point, so it is advisable to test for BBVs.