How Do You Test For Hepatitis C
A simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have the virus. You may also be given an extra test to see if your liver is damaged.
If youve got hepatitis C you should be tested for other STIs. Its important that you tell your recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested and treated. Many people who have hepatitis C do not notice anything wrong, and by telling them you can help to stop the virus being passed on. It can also stop you from getting the infection again.
General Tips For Prevention
Refrain from engaging in IV drug use and be cautious with all procedures that involve needles.
For example, you shouldnt share needles used for tattooing, piercing, or acupuncture. The equipment should always be carefully sterilized for safety. If youre undergoing any of these procedures in another country, always make sure the equipment is sterilized.
Sterile equipment should also be used in a medical or dental setting.
Do Women Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Infected With Hepatitis Through Sexual Contact
Sex does not determine the risk of being infected with hepatitis through sexual contact. The presence of behavioral and other risk factors may make a person vulnerable to getting hepatitis by sexual contact. Some studies, however, suggest that it is easier for a man to transmit HCV to a woman than vice versa. Furthermore, MSM are 10 to 15 times more at risk of getting infected with hepatitis B than the general population.
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How Do You Get It
You can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water and by not washing hands after the toilet or before touching food.
Hepatitis A can be spread through unprotected sex which involves oral to anal contact .
Hepatitis B is spread:
- from mother to baby
- sharing items that may pierce the skin or have blood on them
- blood transfusion .
You can get hepatitis C through contact with infected blood, sharing needles, syringes and any other equipment and, possibly, through sexual contact. You can also get it with a blood transfusion in countries that do not pre-test blood for transfusion.
In Development: Genital Herpes Vaccines
Genital herpes is a viral infection caused by herpes simplex viruses. Some infected people may have few or no symptoms of illness, but many others experience blisters and sores in the genital area. The infection can remain in the body indefinitely, and sores can recur again and again.
Researchers have developed many experimental attenuated and inactivated herpes vaccines, starting in the 1930s and continuing through the 1970s, though none was effective enough to be approved and licensed.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline co-sponsored a Phase 3 clinical trial of a candidate subunit herpes vaccine on nearly 8,000 women across the country. The vaccine had previously shown some promise in a certain subset of women. In September 2010, however, researchers reported that the Phase 3 trial failed to show that the vaccine was effective. Another herpes candidate vaccine, sponsored by Sanofi Pasteur, uses the whole virus and is in pre-clinical studies.
As much as it would be useful to have a highly effective herpes simplex vaccine, the current options are not likely to be broadly useful.
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Could I Give It To Other People
Yes. As long as you carry the virus, you can infect others. You may pass it on to your sex partner, to those who live in close contact with you, and to those who share your needles for injecting drugs. All of these contacts should be examined by a doctor. If they are not yet infected, they should be vaccinated.
Pregnant women who are carriers may pass hepatitis B on to their babies around the time of birth. Most infected infants become carriers. A pregnant woman should have a test for hepatitis B at her first visit to a doctor. If she is a carrier, the infant can be vaccinated at birth to protect against infection.
Sexual Transmission And Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be transmitted through sexual activity. Unvaccinated adults who have multiple sex partners, along with sex partners of people with chronic hepatitis B infection, are at increased risk for transmission. Injection-drug use and sexual contact are other common modes of hepatitis B transmission in the United States.
Among adults seeking treatment in STD clinics, as many as 10%40% have evidence of past or current hepatitis B virus infection. Many of these infections could have been prevented through universal vaccination during delivery of STD prevention or treatment services. Offering vaccination to all adults as part of routine prevention services in STD treatment facilities has been demonstrated to increase vaccination coverage among adults at risk for hepatitis B infection, as the behavioral risk factors for STDs and hepatitis B are similar.
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What You Need To Know By The End Of The Visit
- Is a test, such as a culture, being performed? How and when will you get the results of the test?
- Is there a diagnosis or do you need to wait for a test result? What does your health professional suspect?
- What treatment is your health professional prescribing? Be sure to get a written copy of treatment instructions and follow those instructions. Take all medicines exactly as instructed and for the full course of treatment. Do not stop taking your medicine even if your symptoms improve or go away.
- If you have an STI, who needs to be notifiedâyour partner or partners, the health unit?
- Does your partner or partners need to be treated at the same time?
- Do you need to stop having sexual contact or activity during treatment, or are condoms appropriate to use during treatment?
- Will you need to be seen or treated again?
- Discuss STI prevention options.
- For women who are breastfeeding, discuss the risk of medicines being transmitted in breast milk.
What Is Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attacks the liver.
Hepatitis A is found in human faeces and is commonly passed on by eating or drinking contaminated food and water. Its more common in places with poor sanitation and hygiene conditions and a lack of clean water. However, it can also be passed on through unprotected sex and via sharing needles.
Hepatitis A is not usually serious and clears up on its own after 10 to 14 days. However, hepatitis A has many of the same symptoms as more serious types of hepatitis infections such as hepatitis B or C so its important to get tested.
A vaccine for hepatitis A is available for people living in or visiting countries where it is common, or for groups at a greater risk of getting the virus, such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people who have lots of sexual partners.
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How Serious Is It
- People can be sick for a few weeks to a few months
- Most recover with no lasting liver damage
- Although very rare, death can occur
- 15%25% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer
- More than 50% of people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection
- 5%-25% of people with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis over 1020 years
In Development: Hiv Vaccines
The human immunodeficiency virus is the agent that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome . HIV can be transmitted via sexual contact with an infected person.
When a person first contracts HIV, he may have a mild to moderate illness with fever. After these symptoms subside, the virus persists in a stealth mode and causes slow damage to the immune system. Medications can keep people healthy for many years and perhaps even indefinitely. A person with HIV infection that has progressed to AIDS can also benefit from treatment with medicines. There can be a substantial restoration of immune function while the patient remains on active treatment. A person with AIDS has great difficulty fighting other diseases because of damage to the bodys disease-fighting white blood cells.
Progress toward an HIV vaccine has been slow since the virus was isolated in 1983. Only three HIV vaccines have been tested in clinical efficacy trials. It is difficult to make a vaccine for HIV for several reasons:
- HIV mutates, or changes, much more rapidly than most other viruses. Targeting a vaccine to a rapidly changing virus is challenging task for vaccine researchers.
- HIV damages the cells of the immune system. But to be effective, a vaccine must trigger the immune system to fight the disease agent. So, a challenge for HIV vaccine researchers is to develop a vaccine for HIV that must interact with the immune system in a way that is very different from the natural behavior of the virus.
Contaminated Food And Water
Hepatitis A is most commonly passed on by eating food prepared by someone with the virus whose hands have not been washed properly. You can also get it by drinking dirty water and by eating raw or undercooked shellfish from dirty water.
You can protect yourself by:
- Washing your hands each time you go to the toilet, before you prepare or eat food, after coughing or sneezing, or handling rubbish or other dirty items.
- Peeling and washing all your fresh fruit and vegetables avoiding raw or undercooked meat and fish avoiding all drinks if youre not sure if theyre safe with or without ice.
- If tap water isnt safe and bottled water isn’t available, boil tap water before drinking it.
- People living in places with poor sanitation and hygiene are at a greater risk of hepatitis A infection. You may also be exposed to hepatitis A through your work, for example, sewage workers, staff in institutions where levels of personal hygiene may be poor , people working with animals that may be infected with hepatitis A and daycare centres.
In Use: Hepatitis B Vaccines
Hepatitis B is an illness caused by the hepatitis B virus and transmitted via contact with infectious bodily fluids. It can be spread sexually, or through sharing of injection drug use equipment, needle sticks, birth to an infected mother, contact with open sores or wounds of an infected person, and sharing of razors or toothbrushes with an infected person. Symptoms of hepatitis B infection include fever, abdominal pain, and jaundice, among others. Up to 95% of adults infected with the virus recover and do not become chronically infected. The others remain infected and are at risk for serious liver disease.
The picture is different for children: infants and children who become infected with hepatitis B are much more likely than adults to become chronically infected.
The FDA has licensed several hepatitis B vaccines for use in the United States. It has been part of the routine childhood immunization schedule since 1994. Following are the general recommendation for use of the vaccine:
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all children, starting at birth in a three-dose series spread over many months. Additionally, all children and adolescents under age 19 who have not been vaccinated are recommended to receive the vaccine, as are adult populations at risk of HBV infection.
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What Is Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is often caused by a virus. In the United States, the most common types of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Which Stds Have Vaccines
Some STDs, such as such as gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and syphilis, are caused by bacteria. They are usually effectively treated with antibiotics, although many patients do not know that they are infective and can spread the disease to other partners. The availability of treatments means that the need for vaccines against these diseases is not a top priority, although the increased resistance of gonorrhea to antibiotics may lead to a shift in priorities.
Viral STDs are often highly persistent despite current therapeutic options or have no acceptable treatment available. Therefore, vaccines for certain viral STDs are in use, and others are in development.
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How To Prevent Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.
Parenteral Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis B Hepatitis D And Hepatitis C
Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses are all transmitted by what is known as the parenteral route. Parenteral simply means that these viruses can be introduced by all routes except through the intestinal tract, which leaves the door wide open in terms of possible exposure. Let’s look at the possible transmission routes for each of these types of hepatitis virus more closely.
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How To Prevent Hepatitis
Hepatitis vaccination is available for the A and B strains of this infection, and this can protect the life of the person. Many health advisers also provide a combination of medicine for the hepatitis A and B conditions. These vaccinations mainly help and prevent liver problems and inflammation. Many health advisers also suggest other ways of preventing this disease by maintaining good hygiene and proper sanitization.
Treatment For Hepatitis A
Most cases are diagnosed by GPs rather than sexual health clinics and no special treatment is needed.
A blood test will confirm whether you have picked up the virus.
The usual treatment for hepatitis A is simply to rest. You may need some time off work while you recover from the flu-like symptoms.
You should also:
- avoid recreational drugs to allow your liver to get better
- avoid alcohol until your liver recovers.
Once you have had hepatitis A youre immune and cannot get it again, but you can still get other types of hepatitis.
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What Should I Do If I Have Hepatitis A
Tell people you live with or have recently had sex with to ask their doctor about having an urgent vaccination.
Avoid sex and preparing food for others until youre told youre no longer infectious.
If you’re not vaccinated and are exposed to hepatitis A, you could still be protected from infection by a drug called human normal immunoglobulins . This can be given within two weeks after exposure and it can protect you for up to three to six months.
What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. It can be passed on via unprotected sex , through contaminated needles and from a pregnant woman to her baby during birth.
You may be more at risk of getting hepatitis B if you inject drugs, are a sex worker, are a man who has sex with men, change partners frequently, are in close contact with someone who has chronic hepatitis B, or your occupation exposes you to the virus, for example, a nurse.
Vaccines for hepatitis B are routinely offered to infants. Adults at a higher risk of getting hepatitis B may also be offered the vaccine.
Hepatitis B does not always cause symptoms and can pass in a few months without treatment . People can also have a lifelong infection , and without appropriate treatment and care, it can become more serious and lead to liver damage or death.
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Hepatitis B Symptoms & Treatment
- Hepatitis B is a virus found in infected blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
- Its a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed on through unprotected sex. You can also get it from contaminated needles and syringes. Its also commonly passed on from a mother to her baby during birth.
- There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B, which is routinely offered to infants as well as at-risk groups.
- You can prevent hepatitis B by practising safer sex, never sharing needles and syringes, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.
- Most people dont need treatment for acute hepatitis B. If the infection becomes chronic, there is no cure, but it can be managed with treatment.
Acute Hepatitis B Infection
There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B, and most people recover within one to two months. Usually, you can manage symptoms at home with painkillers if necessary. Your healthcare professional should advise you to have regular blood tests and physical check-ups. Most people make a full recovery from acute hepatitis B.
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How Is Hepatitis A Treated
Unlike other types of viral hepatitis, hepatitis A rarely causes long-term liver damage and doesn’t become a long-term illness. There isnt a specific treatment for hepatitis A, and most people will recover fully within one to two months. Usually, symptoms are managed at home with plenty of rest and painkillers and/or medication to help with itchiness, nausea or vomiting may be prescribed.
Occasionally hepatitis A can last longer and, in rare cases, it can be life-threatening if it causes the liver to stop working properly .
Whether youve got symptoms or not, dont prepare food for others or have sex until a healthcare professional tells you that youre no longer infectious.
Once youve recovered from hepatitis A youre immune this means you cant get it again. But you can get other types of hepatitis.