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.
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.
The Types Of Viral Hepatitis
There are five main types of viral hepatitis known as hepatitis A , hepatitis B , hepatitis C , hepatitis D , and hepatitis E . That said, there have been cases of acute hepatitis that could not be attributed to one of these five types of hepatitis viruses, alcohol, drugs, or autoimmune disease, which lead researchers to try to find another cause.
Though the etiology of these viruses have not yet been fully established, researchers have identified three other types of viral hepatitis , which they have named hepatitis F , hepatitis G , and transfusions transmitted virus . As relatively new diseases and viral discoveries, information about them and how they work is relatively scarce. We do know, however, that cases of TTV have only been associated with hepatitis in people who have had a blood transfusion.
Also Check: How Does Hepatitis Affect The Body
Can Sexually Transmitted Diseases Be Prevented
Correct usage of latex condoms greatly reduces, but does not completely eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading STDs. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms. The most reliable way to avoid infection is to not have anal, vaginal, or oral sex.
There are vaccines to prevent HPV and hepatitis B.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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.
Read Also: Can Hepatitis C Be Cured Totally
Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
If you develop chronic hepatitis B, youll be given treatment to reduce the risk of permanent liver damage and liver cancer. Treatment does not cure chronic hepatitis B and most people who start treatment need to continue for life.
Without treatment, chronic hepatitis B can cause scarring of the liver , which can cause the liver to stop working properly.
A small number of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer, and these complications can lead to death. Other than a liver transplant, there is no cure for cirrhosis. However, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Willowbrook State School Experiments
A New York University researcher named Saul Krugman continued this research into the 1950s and 1960s, most infamously with his experiments on mentally disabled children at the Willowbrook State School in New York, a crowded urban facility where hepatitis infections were highly endemic to the student body. Krugman injected students with gamma globulin, a type of antibody. After observing the temporary protection against infection this antibody provided, he then tried injected live hepatitis virus into students. Krugman also controversially took feces from infected students, blended it into milkshakes, and fed it to newly admitted children.
Read Also: How Can A Person Get Hepatitis B
How Do You Test For Hepatitis B
A simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have the virus. You may also be given extra tests to see if your liver is damaged.
If youve got hepatitis B 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 B dont notice anything wrong, and by telling them you can help to stop the virus being passed on. This can also stop you from getting the infection again.
What Is The Most Common Form Of Viral Hepatitis Transmission
Hepatitis B is primarily spread when blood, semen, or certain other body fluids even in microscopic amounts from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. The hepatitis B virus can also be transmitted from: Birth to an infected mother. Sex with an infected person.
You May Like: Is There A Test For Hepatitis C
Tips For Preventing Transmission Through Sex
If youre sexually active with a person who has hepatitis C, there are ways that you can prevent contracting the virus. Likewise, if you have the virus, you can avoid infecting others.
A few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission include:
- using a condom during every sexual contact, including oral sex
- learning to use all barrier devices correctly to prevent ripping or tearing during intercourse
- resisting engaging in sexual contact when either partner has an open cut or wound in their genitals
- being tested for STIs and asking sexual partners to be tested too
- practicing sexual monogamy
- using extra precautions if youre HIV-positive, as your chance of contracting HCV is much higher if you have HIV
If you have hepatitis C, you should be honest with all sexual partners about your status. This ensures that youre both taking the proper precautions to prevent transmission.
Sharing Toothbrushes Scissors And Razors
There’s a potential risk that hepatitis C may be passed on through sharing items such as toothbrushes, razors and scissors, as they can become contaminated with infected blood.
Equipment used by hairdressers, such as scissors and clippers, can pose a risk if it has been contaminated with infected blood and not sterilised or cleaned between customers. However, most salons operate to high standards, so this risk is low.
Don’t Miss: What To Do If You Have Hepatitis C
What Is Involved In A Liver Transplant
A liver transplant is considered necessary when the liver is damaged and cannot function or in some cases of liver cancer. Your liver is very important. It is responsible for many functions related to making sure that your body stays healthy and is able to digest foods.
You may be eligible for a transplant if you have chronic hepatitis B infection or some of the diseases that may result from it, including liver cancer and cirrhosis. You will have to complete testing and be evaluated before being approved for a transplant. It is likely that you will be placed on a waiting list while an appropriate organ is found.
Donated livers come from two types of donors: living and deceased. Because the liver can regenerate, it is possible to use part of a liver for transplant. The remaining sections in both the donor and the receiver will grow into livers of adequate size.
People who get liver transplants must take anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. These drugs make you more susceptible to infection. However, liver transplants have become more successful over time and continue to improve.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis A
Many people with hepatitis A dont have any symptoms. If symptoms do develop, youll usually notice them around two to four weeks after infection. These symptoms will usually pass within two months.
- flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, a fever and aches and pains
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of your tummy
- dark urine and pale faeces
- yellowing of the skin and eyes
- itchy skin.
Read Also: How Many Hepatitis B Shots Are Required
How Did I Get It
There are several ways of getting hepatitis B. One way is by sexual contact with an infected person.
Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood and body fluids especially through anal sex. Other ways are by sharing personal items , and sharing needles or equipment for injection drug use. Healthcare and emergency service workers can get it through needle stick injuries or blood splashes in the eyes, nose, mouth or on broken skin.
What Are The Types Of Hepatitis B
There are two types of hepatitis B infection: acute and chronic.
An acute infection happens at the beginning, when you first get infected with hepatitis B. Many people are able to clear it from their bodies and recover. In fact, this is true of about 4 in 5 adults who are infected.
If you are not able to clear the infection within six months or longer, you have chronic hepatitis B. It is chronic hepatitis B that leads to inflammation and the serious, and possibly fatal, illnesses of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Treatment can slow disease progress, reduce the chance of liver cancer and increase your chances of surviving.
Also Check: Doctors And Medical Specialists For Hepatitis B
Who Are Hepatitis B Carriers
Hepatitis B carriers are people who have the hepatitis B virus in their blood, even though they dont feel sick. Between 6% and 10% of those people whove been infected with the virus will become carriers and can infect others without knowing it. There are over 250 million people in the world who are carriers of HBV, with about 10% to 15% of the total located in India. Children are at the highest risk of becoming carriers. About 9 in 10 babies infected at birth become HBV carriers, and about half of children who are infected between birth and age 5 carry the virus. A blood test can tell you if you are a hepatitis B carrier.
Can Hepatitis B Infection Be Prevented
Fortunately, hepatitis B is one of the few STDs that has a vaccine. Completing the vaccination series is the best and most effective way to prevent hepatitis B infection. If you are at risk for hepatitis B, talk with your doctor about the vaccine. You can also contact your local health department.
Until you are fully protected with the vaccine, you can take steps to safeguard yourself. Practice safe sex and wear gloves when cleaning up blood or giving first aid. Clean blood spills with bleach and water. The virus can survive outside the body and remains infectious for a week.
If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis B through sex, seek immediate medical care. You can decrease the risk of developing an infection if you get the vaccine within 12 to 24 hours of exposure. Along with the vaccine, you may also need HBIG . This shot contains antibodies against . It works short-term to help prevent infection or fight off the infection if it occurs. HBIG can also help prevent severe infection.
Also Check: Can You Get Hepatitis A After Vaccination
Does Hepatitis B Cause Symptoms
Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease, but once it enters the body it attacks the liver. Most adults do not have symptoms right after infection. So, it is possible to have hepatitis B and not know it. When symptoms occur, many people mistake them for a bad flu or stomach flu. This includes , , , , , , and light or clay-colored stool. People may not realize these are symptoms of an infection they can spread sexually.
, which is yellowing of the skin or eyes, can occur as well. This is because affects how your liver processes bilirubin, a yellow-orange-colored product from old red blood cells that are breaking down. With hepatitis, bilirubin builds up in the blood and part of it ends up in the skin and mucous membranes , causing them to turn a shade of yellow.
People can spread hepatitis B whether they have symptoms or not. The only way to know if youor a sex partneris safe is with a blood test.
Global Progress Report On Hiv Viral Hepatitis And Sexually Transmitted Infections 2021
This report documents the implementation of the 20162021 global health sector strategies for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections.
Production of this Web site has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
Please note that some content on this website contains language, information and images related to sexuality and drug use, and may not be intended for people of all ages. CATIE ensures that these resources, developed to help prevent the transmission of HIV, hepatitis C and other infections, are written and reviewed by health experts for content accuracy.
Read Also: How Can You Get Hepatitis A
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.
Who Is At Risk
While anyone who has not been vaccinated is, in theory, at risk of contracting hepatitis A, the World Health Organization cites the following groups at being of the highest risk:
Don’t Miss: Is There A Cure For Hepatitis B Virus
Other Sexually Transmitted And Bloodborne Infections
HIV treatment, including when the viral load is undetectable, does not prevent people from getting or passing on other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections . STBBIs can have a negative impact on a persons health consequently, people should consider using a combination of sexual health strategies, including condom use, when they have sex. It is important to be aware of the possibility of STBBI transmission, but this must not detract from the message of U=U and the scientific evidence that underlies it.
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.
Recommended Reading: Difference Between Hepatitis B And C
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.
Hepatitis And Sex: Frequently Asked Questions
Itâs widely known that viral hepatitis can spread through consuming contaminated food or sharing dirty hypodermic needles. But the liver-destroying disease can also sometimes be spread through sexual contact. Hereâs what you need to know to protect yourself.
How many kinds of viral hepatitis are there?
Can all types be spread by sexual contact?
Hepatitis A spreads via fecal-oral contact, which can occur if there is direct oral-anal contact or contact with fingers or objects that have been in or near the anus of an infected person. If even a microscopic amount of virus-laden feces gets into the mouth, infection potentially can result.
Are men and women equally at risk of getting and spreading hepatitis through sex?
The risk is determined by a personâs behavior, not their gender, although some studies have shown that it is easier for a man to transmit HCV to a woman than vice versa.
Men who have sex with men are 10 to 15 times more likely than the general population to be infected with hepatitis B.
How can I make sure my partner is free of hepatitis before we have sex?
Are some sex acts especially likely to transmit hepatitis?
Any sexual activity that might cause abrasions, cuts, or other trauma is especially risky.
Is it possible to catch hepatitis from kissing?
Also Check: What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis A