Blood borne virus (BBV) testing in a university setting in North-East Scotland: a pilot initiative

E Okpo* (Corresponding Author), H Corrigan, P Gillies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Blood borne viruses (BBVs; Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV) continue to be a major public health concern globally. It is estimated that hepatitis B and hepatitis C caused 1.4 million deaths in 2010 and HIV caused 1.7 million deaths in 2011.1 Prevalence of BBVs is higher in migrant populations compared to the indigenous population.2, 3, 4 In the UK, migrant populations represent a significant proportion of reported cases of hepatitis B5 and HIV.6 Furthermore about 45% of all new HIV diagnoses in the UK in 2012 were in individuals born abroad6 and up to 50% of the estimated 9000 people living with hepatitis B in Scotland remain undiagnosed.7 Aberdeen, Northeast of Scotland, is home to two prestigious universities and several big oil companies that attract large numbers of migrants including students and oil workers from countries where the prevalence of BBV is high. Consequently, the demography of this region has significantly changed over the last 20 years.8 Although current national guidelines9 recommend increase testing for BBVs, testing is often only carried out when an individual self-presents to health care services with symptoms and signs of advanced infection. Thus resulting in late diagnosis and missed opportunity for preventive action to minimize transmission.

A recent search of PubMed did not reveal any study that reported on initiatives to increase access to BBV testing or BBV screening in a university setting. Thus, as part of a sexual health service improvement plan, we sought to increase access to BBV testing in a non-specialist setting by offering dried blood spot test (DBST) for BBVs to new students in a university setting during the fresher's week of the 2013/14 academic year.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-827
Number of pages3
JournalPublic Health
Issue number6
Early online date16 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

The authors are grateful to Beverley Miller, Mark Curry and Jackie Williams for their assistance in connection with this project.


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