Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It’s usually caused by viruses, but excess alcohol, drugs and some chemicals are other causes.

Hepatitis A

Uncommon in Britain, and most people recover in a few weeks. Vaccination is recommended if you are traveling to a country where Hepatitis A is common, if you inject drugs or your sexual activities include oral/faucal contact.

Hepatitis B

In the UK, one person in 1,000 carries the virus. Hepatitis B can be short-lasting (acute) or long-lasting (chronic). Some people may be ill for a few weeks and then recover completely, while others may never realise they have been infected. The virus can cause fatal liver damage, however. It is mainly transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, and through sex without a condom. It is more infectious than HIV. It can be treated, and there is a vaccine.

Hepatitis C

This is usually chronic. Many people have no symptoms, or symptoms can be vague. It is passed from blood to blood and through sex without a condom. Treatment is available.

If you are worried you should see a doctor or phone for an appointment at your nearest GUM (Genito-Urinary Medicine) Clinic. The nearest one to the University is at the Royal Preston Hospital, see local telephone helplines section.

See also

Safer sex
Sexually transmitted infections

External Links

Brook Advisory Service
NHS Direct

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