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South Asian community: hepatitis C testing available at the Newcastle Mela

Staff from The Hepatitis C Trust will be attending the Newcastle Mela this weekend to raise awareness around the virus and offer testing and information to people at the two day event.

The Newcastle Mela which takes place at the Town Moor on Sunday 24th & Monday 25th August is this year celebrating its 21st birthday.

South Asian projects officer Shabana Begum will be joining the celebrations but also highlighting the importance of knowing whether you have the virus or not. She says: "So many people have hepatitis C and remain undiagnosed, it's important to know the risks and get yourself tested. It could save your life."

Shabana will be offering mouth swab testing between 12noon & 6:30pm on both days. This tests for hepatitis C anti-bodies and requires no blood from the individual. Those interested in having a test will receive their results in 20 minutes and anyone testing positive will be referred to their GP.

The mela is a free event, based around Pakistani, Bengali, Indian and other South Asian cultures is open to anyone and will showcase a whole range of music and dance, games, stalls and exhibitions to help everyone have a great weekend.

For more information on the mela visit: http://newcastlemela.co.uk/