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Hepatitis A causes inflammation in the liver and is the form of the virus which often comes on very quickly and is short-term but severe.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include a flu-like illness, vomiting, abdominal pain and jaundice (white of eyes and/or skin can take on a yellow-tinge).

How can you get it?

It is transmitted when: 

  • Infected faecal matter enters a person’s mouth through activities such as ass play, or rimming 
  • Not washing hands properly after sex with someone who has Hep A
  • Not washing hands properly after going to the toilet
  • It can also be passed on by using eating and drinking utensils previously used by an infected person
  • Ingesting contaminated food and drink

People are infectious for around three weeks, starting two weeks before they develop symptoms to about a week afterwards.

How do you know if you have it?

Hepatitis A can be detected by a blood test.

STIs

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  • Chlamydia

    Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that can infect the mucous lining of the penis, anus or eyes.

    Keep reading…
  • Gonorrhoea

    Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection that lives in the mucous lining of the penis, throat, anus or eyes.

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  • Herpes (HSV)

    Herpes (HSV) presents in two different types.

    Keep reading…
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

    Human Papillomavirus (Warts) is the virus that can cause warts on the penis, anus or surrounding areas.

    Keep reading…
  • Lymphogranuloma venereum (LGV)

    LGV is a particularly virulent form of the Chlamydia bacteria. It is still rare, but it may become more common over time.

    Keep reading…
  • HIV

    ​We comprehensively discuss HIV across our website, so we'll just cover the basics here. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It belongs to a group of viruses called retroviruses, which work by invading cells within the body then begin to continually reproduce itself.

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis B

    Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. 

    Keep reading…
  • Hepatitis C

    Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes serious damage to the liver.

    Keep reading…
  • Syphilis

    Syphilis is a bacterial infection that infects the penis, throat or anus and then spreads to different parts of the body through the bloodstream.

    Keep reading…
  • Gut Infections

    Gut Infections are caused by bacteria (such as amoebiasis, shigellosis, giardiasis and salmonellosis).

    Keep reading…
  • Molloscum Contagiosum

    Molloscum Contagiosum (MC) is a virus that causes pimple-like lumps on the body.

    Keep reading…
  • Pubic Lice (Crabs)

    Pubic Lice (Crabs) are small parasites that grip onto the hair in the genital area.

    Keep reading…
  • Scabies

    Scabies are tiny mites (smaller than crabs) that burrow under the skin to lay eggs.

    Keep reading…
  • Thrush

    Thrush (or Candidiasis) is a yeast infection that irritates the mucous membranes around the genitals.

    Keep reading…
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Treatment

There is no medical treatment - so, people with hepatitis A should drink plenty of water and avoid drugs, alcohol, excessively fatty diets or anything that may affect the liver. If you suspect that you have hepatitis A you should see your doctor.

People who get hepatitis A will recover and develop permanent immunity to the virus.

I'm living with HIV

While hepatitis A will not seriously impact upon HIV, it may lead to difficulties of compliance with antiretroviral medication if there is severe nausea and vomiting.

Prevention

An effective vaccination against hepatitis A is available. A combination hepatitis A & B vaccination is also available. 

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after going to the toilet, and before and after sex (especially ass play). You can also consider using dams when you’re rimming (you can convert condoms to dental dams with three simple cuts - click here to see how).

For more information, you can go to the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand.

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