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Hepatitis

What is it? 

Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver and comes in many shapes and forms. The type of hepatitis depends on the length of the illness and the strength of the virus.

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How is it spread?

Hepatitis can be contracted through having unprotected sex with someone who has the infection,or coming into contact with infected blood, sexual fluids or through the faecal-oral route

What are the symptoms?

Some people have no symptoms but still carry the virus, so they can infect others.

Hepatitis B can take between six and 23 weeks to take effect once you have been infected.

The main symptoms connected with hepatitis are:

· Jaundice - where the skin looks yellow

· Abdominal discomfort, vomiting, nausea and high fever

· Flu-like symptoms, sore throat or cough

· When you go to the toilet your urine becomes dark and the stools are pale

How can I get rid of it?

Treatment is available for some forms of hepatitis and will vary depending on which type it is.

A liver and digestive diseases specialist will prescribe relevant medication. The treatment may be spread over several months, depending on how serious the infection is. Because hepatitis is very easy to pass on, more so than HIV and other STIs, it is important that safer sex is practised.

There are vaccinations available for some forms of hepatitis

To reduce the chances of getting it – use a condom!

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