We sometimes offer a Hepatitis A vaccine to people who we consider to be at risk of acquiring the infection. It consists of one to two injections over six months and is an effective method of preventing hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects the liver. It is easy to pass on during sex or get from contaminated food and water. Nearly everyone makes a full recovery. Hepatitis A symptoms can be so mild you may not realise you have it, but up to six weeks after infection it can cause flu-like symptoms, nausea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
Hepatitis A lives in faeces and can be transmitted through:
- Food or water contaminated with faeces
- Through oral or anal sex, when tiny amounts of faeces gets on fingers and into mouths through rimming, fingering or anal sex without condoms.
As well as vaccination, infection can be avoided through careful hygiene during and after sex. The advice is to:
- Wash your hands after sex
- Use protection for fingering, rimming and fisting
- Change condoms between anal and oral sex
- Avoid sharing sex toys