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Hepatitis A is a viral infection that is primarily contracted from contaminated water or food, or through blood transmission, such as sharing needles. It can also be passed on through some types of sexual contact such as rimming (oral-anal contact)
It causes inflammation of the liver which causes an acute debilitating illness that can last for several weeks. Usually once you recover there are no long term effects and you will have lifelong immunity. There is a vaccine available to prevent infection with Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A Prevention
Hepatitis A vaccine
We recommended the vaccination to all men who have sex with men (MSM) and travellers going to developing countries. The vaccinations consist of 2 injections roughly 6 months apart, which should give you about 20 years protection.
Hepatitis A Symptoms
After exposure and infection, symptoms can take anywhere from 15- 45 days to develop, and can range from a flu like illness with tiredness and joint pains, usually with right upper abdominal pain, followed by jaundice, nausea and extreme fatigue. The symptoms can last up to 3 months and can be very debilitating. Most children, and about 50% of adults, will have no symptoms, and the infection in those cases can only be diagnosed by screening for it.
Hepatitis A is self-limiting and usually doesn’t cause any lasting damage although the acute phase can be very debilitating. In some cases more severe complications such as liver failure is a possibility, especially if you have pre-existing liver disease.
Hepatitis A Diagnosis
A blood test.
Hepatitis A Treatment
Symptomatic and supportive, as there is no specific cure and the disease is self limiting.
I have over 14 years experience providing sexual health screening and I offer a completely confidential, professional, non judgemental service from start to end. If you are not sure if you have been at risk, then I offer a normal consultation to discuss the possible risks and whether screening would be appropriate. We discuss and agree all costs beforehand so you know exactly where you stand and I will always provide you with clear and accurate advice based on current British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH )guidelines.