A WORLD first will take place in Glasgow today as a major health campaign gets under way.

The largest ever tweet wall is being erected in St Enoch Square to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, which kills more people worldwide than HIV each year.

The interactive tweet wall will display bricks showing negative aspects of viral hepatitis that people living with the disease face every day.

Every tweet and text message sent using the hashtag #thinkhepatitis will help turn a negative statement into a positive message of support for those affected.

Around 38,000 people live with chronic Hepatitis C in Scotland, while it is estimated a further 18,000 are unaware they have the bloodborne virus that can infect and seriously damage the liver.

While hepatitis C can be cured, up until now many ­patients have been unwilling to endure the side effects of standard treatments.

In Scotland, since 1996, liver-related deaths among people with hepatitis C have increased three-fold.

Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance, said: "We are very excited to be celebrating World Hepatitis Day at the Commonwealth Games this year.

"Viral hepatitis rarely gets the visibility it deserves despite killing 1.5 million people every year, more people than HIV/AIDS.

"Presence at such a major international event is therefore crucial to raising awareness on the global stage and challenging preconceptions about viral hepatitis.

"What's more, Scotland is one of only a handful of countries worldwide with a comprehensive strategy for tackling all aspects of viral hepatitis. We are proud to be recognising that achievement by celebrating World Hepatitis Day here in Glasgow."

Earlier this year a health probe was launched after a patient became infected with hepatitis C while being treated for a separate condition in hospital.

NHS Lanarkshire carried out an investigation into the transmission of the virus to a patient who was in Monklands Hospital in Airdrie.

The investigation concluded that the patient became infected during their inpatient stay, although the health board says the exact mode of transmission remains unclear.

NHS Lanarkshire wrote to seven other patients and contacted their GPs.