Press release

HSE on track to achieve Hep C elimination targets by 2030

Published: 29 April 2024

More than 5,500 free hepatitis C home tests were ordered since the service launched a year ago, in April 2023, following increased awareness of the service provided by the HSE.

The free service provides adults with the option to test for hepatitis C privately at home. The test involves a finger prick test, with a tiny blood sample dropped into a test tube, which is posted in a pre-paid envelope to a lab for analysis. Those who require follow up treatment are contacted and referred to a participating clinic or hospital. 

Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus, which infects the liver and if left untreated can cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage, leading to cirrhosis, possible liver failure and cancer – as well as a risk of spreading the disease to others.

Prof Aiden McCormick, Clinical Lead for the HSE National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme said:

“I am delighted with the take up of the HSE hepatitis C home testing service. It provides a discreet and confidential service for users, leading to quick diagnosis and intervention for those that have a positive test result. It’s providing increased opportunities for diagnosis and treatment.”

Hepatitis C often has no symptoms and the only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested. People can become infected through blood-to-blood contact with someone who has the virus. Risk factors for hepatitis C include sharing needles, unprotected sex with an infected person, blood and organ donations done before 1992.

Availability of the national home testing service has increased access to testing, removing potential barriers such as embarrassment, cost and time needed to travel to and attend a face-to-face service. Individuals with positive results are contacted by a nurse specialist and further testing arranged. Those diagnosed with hepatitis C are fast tracked to treatment and cure. Treatment is provided for free from the HSE, tablets are effective and well-tolerated, with over 95% of people cured in as little as 8 to 12 weeks. 

The at-home test is part of the HSE’s Hepatitis C Treatment Programme efforts to reach people who may find it inconvenient to access routine clinical testing services.  It is particularly aimed at individuals who are well but may have had exposure to a risk of infection in the past.

The National Hepatitis C Treatment Programme has already treated over 7,000 people, 95 per cent of whom are now cured, and is on track to reach the World Health Organisation elimination targets for 2030.

The confidential hepatitis C test is free to order online from

This is a beta version - your feedback will help us to improve it