What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hep B is a virus that affects the liver and can result in liver disease.
Hep B is caused by infected blood, cum or vaginal fluid entering a person’s bloodstream mainly through unprotected fucking and sharing injecting equipment. It can also be transmitted through sharing drug snorting equipment, crack pipes, toothbrushes, razors, also oral sex and tattooing or body piercing with unsterile equipment.
Flu like symptoms are common, alongside; nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, muscle and joint pain, jaundice and dark yellow urine. So basically, yellow and feeling like crap. As with most STIs, symptoms can vary from person-to-person and range from mild to severe depending on the individual. Symptoms will normally appear within 1-6 months after infection. Hep B can become a chronic infection lasting for more than 6 months. Most people will be able to clear it eventually but for some it can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.
A blood test will be able to determine if you have contracted Hep B. There is no cure, in some cases people will be able to clear the virus naturally and will develop antibodies against it, meaning that they will most likely be immune to any further attacks. However, in the cases where someone can not clear the virus, close ongoing monitoring of the liver function is required. For those people with liver damage as a result of chronic Hep B, your doctor may suggest some treatment options with specialised anti viral medications.
To reduce the risks of catching Hep B get vaccinated or avoid coming into contact with another persons bodily fluid, especially blood and cum.
Always use condoms and water based lube when fucking, if fisting use gloves and lube, and keep sex toys and dildos covered. Be sure to use new condoms, new gloves and clean covered toys between different partners.
Always wash your hands and any sex toys thoroughly before and after sex (also during – if you are having an extended session).
Avoid sharing drug taking equipment and personal toiletries, especially: needles, crack pipes, snorting straws/notes, razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers etc….
It is a good idea to get yourself vaccinated against Hep B, it is usually 3 separate injections over a period of time. You can inquire about the vaccine at the Pitstop Clinic.
If you are HIV positive and sexually active, it is strongly recommended to get immunised against Hep B and have your Hep B levels checked at least once a year. Co-infection with both HIV and Hepatitis B may lead to more rapid progression of Hepatitis B to liver cancer. Many of the drugs used to treat HIV will need to pass through your liver and can not be tolerated during acute hepatitis infection.
Where can I test?
If you are a resident of the borough of Greenwich, then you can order a home test kit to test for Hepatitis B from this website. These are completely free and you'll get your result by text in five working days of the Lab receiving your samples.
If you are not from one of the above areas, would prefer to test face-to-face, or you would like to get vaccinated against Hepatitis B, then please visit our Pitstop Clinic or Contact Us for information about other places you can test for or get vaccinated from.