What you need to know about Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A Update: NSW has seen a recent increase in cases of Hepatitis A transmission. Half of the recent infections have been among gay and bisexual men. Make sure you are vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B, visit your closest sexual health clinic or GP to get vaccinated.
Hepatitis A Update: Increased cases in NSW
Hepatitis A Update: an increase in cases of Hepatitis transmission have a occurred in NSW, with half the recent infections among gay and bisexual men. Make sure you are vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B, head over to your closest sexual health clinic or GP to get vaccinated. http://bit.ly/2wrf4jn
Posted by Ending HIV on Monday, September 18, 2017
Hepatitis A is an acute infection (short-term but often severe) that causes inflammation of the liver. It’s not a very common virus in Australia, although NSW has recently seen an increase in new hepatitis A infections.
Hepatitis A is usually passed on when:
- Infected faecal matter enters the mouth through rimming or arse play
- You don’t wash your hands after sexual contact with someone who has hepatitis A
- You don’t wash your hands after going to the toilet
- You use eating or drinking utensils previously handled by an infected person
How can I tell if I have hepatitis A?
The best way to find out if you have hepatitis A is to get tested. Some symptoms may include:
- A fever or mild flu-like symptoms
- Weakness and fatigue
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Joint & muscle pain
- Jaundice (where your skin and/or eyes go yellow and your urine is dark)
If you have hepatitis A, you are considered infectious for a week after the onset of your symptoms. Symptoms can last for two weeks to two months, Some people, especially children, don’t get sick when they catch hepatitis A. Hepatitis A doesn’t cause a chronic (long-term) infection, and most people recover completely.
How do I get tested for hepatitis A?
You will be given a blood test to see if you have contracted hepatitis A. Once you have had hepatitis A, you will become immune to it, meaning you cannot get it again.
How can I get treated?
There is no medical treatment for hepatitis A. However, it’s recommended you rest and drink plenty of fluids and water, avoid alcohol and try to eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet.
How can I prevent getting hepatitis A?
You can get a two-dose vaccination course to protect you from getting hepatitis A. The second dose is given 6 to 12 months after the initial vaccination.
You can also get a hepatitis A and B combination vaccination, and in this instance, three doses of the vaccine are required.
Also, to prevent contracting hepatitis A, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, and before and after sex (especially arse play), and you can also consider using dams when you’re rimming.
What if I’m HIV positive?
If you’re poz, it’s recommended to keep up to date with your vaccinations (both A and B).
If I’m HIV negative and on PrEP, how will Hepatitis A affect me?
PrEP is a highly effective tool in the prevention of HIV, however it does not protect you from hepatitis A. One of the best ways to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
FAST FACTS ABOUT HEPATITIS A
- Hepatitis A is usually contracted from faecal-to-oral transmission
- Symptoms include fever, jaundice and nausea
- Once you have had hepatitis A, you can’t get it again
- There’s no treatment for hepatitis A, but it doesn’t cause a long-term infection
- The best way to prevent getting hepatitis A is to get a vaccination course