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Hepatitis A, B & C Symptoms, Testing & Treatment

020 7637 1600 for 100% Confidential Hepatitis A, B and C Testing

Hepatitis A Testing

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Hepatitis A is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated food and water supplies. Numbers of cases have declined markedly since the early 1990’s. A very effective vaccine is available to protect people against Hepatitis A.

What is Hepatitis A?

It is a viral infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver.

How can I get Hepatitis A?

It can be spread by two main routes.

It can be spread sexually where the sex involves any contact with an infectious person’s anus or faeces. Penetrative sex, especially without a condom, oral sex, and rimming can all spread Hepatitis A.

The other route is through foods which have been contaminated by faeces or by someone with Hepatitis A who has not been scrupulous in hand washing before food preparation.

How do I know if I’ve got Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A can be a very mild infection which may pass unnoticed by the patient.

More usually people will feel generally unwell with fever, headache, nausea, abdominal pain and sometimes jaundice.

Very occasionally Hepatitis A can cause a very severe infection resulting in liver failure and death. This is rare.

Hepatitis A Tests

Testing for Hepatitis A involves taking blood samples to check liver function and also to look for Hepatitis A directly. An ultrasound scan of the liver may be needed.

Hepatitis A Treatments

There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A. Immunisation is easily available before developing an infection. Anybody coming into contact with someone with Hepatitis A should be offered immunisation immediately. Many doctors will combine the immunisation for Hepatitis B on this occasion.

Hepatitis B Testing

Hepatitis B is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood or medical supplies. Numbers of cases have declined markedly since the early 1980’s. A very effective vaccine is available to protect people against Hepatitis B.

What is Hepatitis B?

It is a viral infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus.

How can I get Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B has two main routes of spread. It can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood supplies or medical products like needles and syringes.

Hepatitis B is very infectious and can be spread easily from someone who is infectious. Unprotected oral sex, penetrative sex and rimming can spread Hepatitis B infection. Not everyone who has had Hepatitis B is infectious. Most become immune and non-infectious.

Hepatitis B can also be spread by contamination of the medical blood supply, by sharing dirty needles or by being treated with inadequately cleaned instrumentation. This happens rarely in the UK but may occur in other countries especially in the developing world.

How do I know if I’ve got Hepatitis B?

Again, rather like with Hepatitis A, the illness may take on several different forms. It may be very mild indeed and pass almost unnoticed, though this is rare. More usually people feel unwell with abdominal pain, reduced appetite, jaundice, tiredness, aching joints, dark urine and pale stools. Rarely a very severe form may occur resulting in liver failure and death. This is rare. Symptoms may take up to six months to develop.

Testing for Hepatitis B

Testing for Hepatitis B involves taking blood samples to check liver function and also to look for Hepatitis B directly. An ultrasound scan of the liver may be needed.

Hepatitis B Treatments

There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis B. Immunisation is easily available before developing an infection. Anybody coming into contact with someone with Hepatitis B should be offered immunisation immediately. Many doctors will combine the immunisation for Hepatitis A on this occasion.

Hepatitis C Testing

Hepatitis C is an infection which can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood or medical supplies or during tattooing or body piercing – but only if non-sterile instruments are used. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C.

What is Hepatitis C?

It is a viral infection of the liver caused by the Hepatitis C virus. Around about 15% of people who develop Hepatitis C will clear the infection on their own in the first six months. The remainder will go on to a more chronic type of infection.

How can I get Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C has two main routes of spread. It can be spread sexually or by contaminated blood supplies or medical products like needles and syringes or by instruments used in body piercing or tattooing.

Hepatitis C is very infectious and can be spread easily from someone who is infectious – but generally only if there is blood to blood contact. It can be spread sexually, particularly in association with other infections. If there is no blood to blood contact eg sharing toothbrushes or razors, or sexual contact then Hepatitis C cannot be passed on. Social contact with people with Hepatitis C does not result in infection.

Hepatitis C can also be spread by contamination of the medical blood supply although this is now very unlikely in the UK. Sharing dirty needles for injecting drugs eg crystal meth or by being treated with inadequately cleaned instrumentation may also pass on Hepatitis C.

Snorting cocaine through shared straws or rolled bank notes is thought to be an increasingly common way to spread Hepatitis C.

How do I know if I’ve got Hepatitis C?

Again, rather like with Hepatitis A and B, the illness may take on several different forms. It may be very mild indeed and pass almost unnoticed, though this is rare. More usually people feel unwell with abdominal pain, reduced appetite, jaundice, tiredness, aching joints, dark urine and pale stools. Rarely a very severe form may occur resulting in liver failure and death. This is rare.

Testing for Hepatitis C

Testing for Hepatitis C involves taking blood samples to check liver function and also to look for Hepatitis C directly. An ultrasound scan of the liver may be needed.

Hepatitis C Treatments

There is often no specific treatment for Hepatitis C. Sometimes treatment is offered using powerful anti-viral drugs but this will depend on how ill a person is and which type of Hepatitis C virus he or she has.

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