HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are viruses, usually transmitted by blood or sexual contact, that cause significant illness and death in people in the UK - and worldwide.
Many people in the UK are infected but are unaware. Some are infected with more than one type of virus and suffer more serious illness as a result. Infections tend to affect the most disadvantaged people in the population, causing further disadvantage and harm, widening the inequalities across society.
Screening programmes can identify people infected and ensure they get effective treatment, but these programmes to date have been inefficient and costly. New and more efficient approaches to screening for blood-borne viruses are urgently needed.
Working with people affected by blood-borne virus infection, we are co-creating a programme to develop and test a new way to target testing to those who are most at risk of infection, and where needed, offering testing for multiple infections. This approach uses new computer ‘machine learning’ technologies that can calculate a person’s risk of infection accurately by assessing and combining many pieces of information, usually from their health record.