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What Is the Hepatitis STD Infection?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can complicate how well the liver functions. 

This inflammation can occur due to heavy alcohol use, 

exposure to certain toxins, some medications, 

and certain medical conditions, 

such as viral infections hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

What Is Hepatitis A?

 Hepatitis A (HAV) is a contagious, acute (sudden and severe at the start) 

liver disease that, 

unlike hepatitis B and C, does not become chronic (gradually developing serious, long-term complications). 

Hepatitis A is a virus, and its infections can be mild and last 

a few weeks, or severe and last several months. 

 

People with hepatitis A are typically cured of the virus 

without treatment and often only need proper rest and fluid intake.

 

Adults can experience symptoms including but not limited to

Fatigue

Jaundice

Stomach pain

Nausea

Low appetite

 

How Common Is It?

The most common hepatitis viruses in the U.S. are hepatitis A, B, and C. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since 1995, 

rates have declined by more than 95% thanks to the vaccine becoming available.

 

In 2016, there were only an estimated 4,000 hepatitis A cases in the U.S.

Most types of hepatitis, especially hepatitis A, 

are much more common in developing countries

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 How Serious Is It?

Most people with Hepatitis A will feel sick for several weeks but fortunately,

it is normal to recover without permanent or lasting liver damage.

It is not a disease that commonly becomes a chronic liver disease.

However, while it is pretty rare, there have been cases

reported where hepatitis A caused liver failure and even death.

This happens more often in people beyond the age of 50 and in those with other liver conditions.

 

How Is Hepatitis A Transmitted?

Hepatitis A can be contracted or spread when an unvaccinated person eats or

drinks infected faecal matter through objects, food,

or drinks that carry the virus—even in microscopic amounts.

Eating or drinking contaminated food or water is the most common way of contracting hepatitis A.


Hep A can also be transmitted sexually 

whenever partners’ sexual fluids mix with infected faecal matter.


The most common way to acquire hepatitis A sexually

is through oral-anal contact with someone carrying

 the virus due to the chances of ingesting faecal matter.


Symptoms are often mild or not apparent, and a person can transmit

the virus to others up to two weeks before symptoms even appear.


A few other ways of transmitting hepatitis A include:

  • Close personal contact with infected persons who have poor hygiene
  • Sharing intravenous illegal drugs with an infected person
  • Anal sex

 

Is it Contagious?

Yes, it is. You are most contagious shortly after

you acquire HAV, even if symptoms haven’t appeared yet.

Once symptoms do begin to appear, after two weeks,

you are no longer contagious.


However, those with weak immune systems 

may be contagious for up to six months.


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