What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is a viral liver infection. There has recently been an outbreak of Hep A in the UK, so keep an eye out for symptoms! It is also widespread in other parts of the world, such as Africa and India. If you're worried about Hepatitis A, please speak to your GP as GUM services are not able to treat you!
It’s passed on through tiny particles of infected shit entering the mouth. Shit can get into the mouth when rimming, or onto your hands when fucking, scat, fingering, fisting, engaging in arse play or by handling contaminated objects such as dildos or used condoms.
From your hands it’s really easy to transfer the infection to your mouth through eating food, having a cigarette, touching your mouth or any number of ways. It can also be passed on by using eating/drinking utensils or drug smoking equipment previously used by an infected person. People are infectious for around three weeks, starting two weeks before they develop symptoms to about a week afterwards.
Flu like symptoms are common, alongside; nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle and joint pain and jaundice. So basically, yellow and feeling like crap. As with most STIs some people will only get some symptoms and they can range from mild to severe depending on the individual. Symptoms will normally appear within 2-7 weeks of infection. People infected with Hepatitis A should avoid drugs, alcohol, excessively fatty diets, or anything that may affect the liver.
Like the flu – there is no cure, plenty of fluids and bed rest. Symptoms can last for up to a month and most people will be able to clear Hep A by themselves. In most cases people will develop antibodies against HEP A after having it, meaning that they will be immune to any further attacks.
Wash your hands after using the toilet, before and after sex (especially any arse play), and use dams for rimming. If you think you are at high risk, you can get yourself vaccinated against Hep A: it is normally 2 separate injections.
If you are HIV positive, getting immunised for Hep A is a sensible option. Many of the drugs used to treat HIV will need to pass through your liver and can not be tolerated during acute hepatitis infection.