Be Safe.

Hepatitis A or Hep A

{Hep-ah-tigh-tus Eh}

Also Known as:

Infectious Hepatitis

Hepatitis Fonzie “Ehhhhhhhh”

Hep A

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus.

How do I get it?

It’s possible to get hepatitis A through contact with an infected person’s poop. This can occur a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Having unprotected sex (especially oral-anal sex) with someone who has hepatitis A.
  • Having oral-anal contact without a barrier with someone who has Hepatitis A.
  • Contact with poop (feces) after fingering a partner’s anus or handling a used condom after anal sex and putting your fingers on or in your mouth.
  • Eating food prepared by an infected person with poor hand hygiene practices.
  • Drinking untreated water (this becomes more important when traveling).

How to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A

The spread of hepatitis stops with proper basic hygiene. Always wash your hands after using the toilet, changing a diaper and before preparing or eating food. A good washing of the genital and anal areas before sex, as well as the use of condoms and/or dental dams can help prevent transmission.

Symptoms

If you have hepatitis A, it’s possible to show no symptoms at all. When they do occur—usually within 15 – 50 days after the virus enters the body—the following symptoms can come on suddenly:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Poor appetite
  • Nausea
  • Dark Urine
  • Pale poops
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Pain on right side of belly under rib cage—where your liver is — or abdominal discomfort

There are several types of hepatitis and symptoms often overlap. Because of this, a blood test is needed to tell if a person has Hepatitis A.

Is it curable?

Yes

How is it treated?

There are no specific treatments for Hepatitis A, it simply has to run its course. However, steps can be taken to manage symptoms and alleviate stress on the liver for the duration of the illness:

  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Frequent small bland meals may help with nausea and poor appetite.
  • Check with your doctor before taking any medications (prescription, over the counter, herbal).
  • Avoid fatty foods, alcohol and caffeine.
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Can I get Hepatitis A more than once?

No.

How can I prevent Hepatitis A?

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Be aware when you travel to developing countries.
  • Ensure proper hygiene and take precautions with food and drink.

Other resources

What to expect when
getting tested

Get comfortable with the process.

  • What to bring
    to your
    appointment
  • What will
    you be
    asked?
  • What the
    tests
    involve

What to bring
to your
appointment

Your name and contact details and questions about your sexual history.

  • A form of ID (driver's license, passport)
  • Your health care card

What will
you be
asked?

Questions about your recent sexual history.

When you last had sex, whether it was unprotected, what kind of symptoms you have...

What the
tests
involve

A few different potential tests involve procedures that aren’t a huge deal.

Pelvic exams, swab tests, blood tests and or urine tests

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