WHAT IS HEPATITIS AND HOW DOES IT SPREAD?

Hepatitis (hep) is a virus thatcauses inflammation of the liver. The most common hepatitis viruses are hep A, B and C.

  • Hep A is spread through close personal contact with an infected person, or through contaminated food or drinks.
  • Hep B is spread by exposure to the blood, semen or other bodily fluids of someone who is infected.
  • Hep C is spread by exposure to the blood of someone who is infected.
  • Symptoms for hep A and B include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain and jaundice.
  • Hep C initially may not cause symptoms; however, if symptoms occur, they are often a sign of advanced liver disease.
  • Getting the hep A and B vaccines is the best way to protect yourself against hep A and B.
  • There is no vaccine for hep C, but thereis a cure.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR  HEP A?

  • Your Music City PrEP provider will connect you with a specialist to handle yourhepatitis care.
  • Stay home, rest and drink water and other fluids.
  • You will likely feel sick for a few weeks or several months and fully recover in 3 to 6 months. Some may have a more severe case and need to be cared for in the hospital. Hep A never becomes a chronic condition.
  • It is important to wash your hands after using the restroom and before preparing food.
  • Limit your alcohol and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) use.
  • Avoid having sex until your infection has cleared and your provider has told you you’re cured.
  • Let anyone you live with know that they need to get vaccinated for hep A, if they haven’t received both vaccine doses already.
  • Once you have recovered, you will have immunity from hep A, which means you can’t get it again.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR  HEP B?

  • Your Music City PrEP provider will connect you with a specialist to handle your hepatitis care.
  • If you’re taking PrEP, take it daily and don’t stop taking it until your medical provider tells you it’s safe to do so.
  • For most people, hep B goes away within 6 months. Then you have lifelong immunity and can’t get it again. For some people, hep B remains a chronic condition and may require treatment.
  • Encourage family members, roommates and sexual partners to get tested. If they haven’t already been vaccinated, encourage them toget vaccinated.
  • Use condoms when having sex with anyone who isn’t certain they have been vaccinated against hep B. If your provider tells you your virus has cleared, you can no longer transmit hep B to anyone. If you end up needing hep B treatment, taking it properly will make your viral load undetectable, which will prevent transmission to your sexual partners.
  • Avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes and other items that might have blood on them such as injection-drug equipment. Bandage open cuts and clean up blood spills.
  • Limit your alcohol and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) use.

WHAT IF I TEST POSITIVE FOR  HEP C?

  • Your Music City PrEP provider will connect you with a specialist to handle your hepatitis care.
  • Your treatment will cure hep C and usually consists of 8 to 12 weeks of pills.
  • Avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes and other items that might have blood on them such as injection-drug equipment. Bandage open cuts and clean up blood spills.
  • If you inject drugs and share injection equipment, let people who you shared equipment with recently know you tested positive for hep C and that they need to get tested.
  • Limit your alcohol and acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) use.

Should I get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B?

YES! Once you are vaccinated for hep A and B, you cannot contract these viruses. If you have not been vaccinated for hep A and B, it is highly recommended that you do so as soon as possible.

Hep A Vaccine

  • The vaccine is 2 shots given 6 months apart.
  • You must get both shots to be fully protected.

Hep B Vaccine

  • The vaccine is usually 2 or 3 shots that are given approximately 4 weeks apart. It can take up to 6 months to complete the series.
  • You must get all shots in the series to be fully protected.

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