Hepatitis is (a virus that causes) inflammation of the liver and liver tissue and can cause serious and potentially life-threatening damage if left untreated. Hepatitis can be acute (short term) or chronic (long term) which can cause lasting liver damage. Hepatitis is sometimes shortened to hep.
The liver is the largest organ in the human body weighing around 1.5kg and sits on the right side of your body. It has several vital functions including turning food into energy and filtering toxins, eg: alcohol out of the blood.
The Hepatitis alphabet
Hepatitis is most commonly caused by the viruses A to C but other forms of hepatitis (eg: D, E, F, G) are very rare. Other causes include heavy alcohol use, some medications, toxins, other infections, and auto-immune diseases. But to summarise:
- Hepatitis A (HAV) is mainly spread by contaminated food and water, and sex, eg: rimming, fucking and sharing dildoes).
Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B (HBV) is mainly sexually transmitted, eg: rimming, fucking and sharing dildoes and douche and drug-injecting equipment
Get vaccinated for Hepatitis B. Treatment is available. See below: Hepatitis C and chemsex
- Hepatitis C (HCV) is commonly spread through blood, eg: sharing injecting equipment, straws for snorting, fucking and fisting. See below: Hepatitis C and chemsex
- Treatment is available that cures it.
- Hepatitis D (HDV) can only infect people already infected with hepatitis B
Treatment is available
- Hepatitis E (HEV) is spread in very much the same way as Hepatitis A and can be found in raw/ undercooked animals such as pigs, wild boar, deer, rabbits and rats
No specific treatment
Symptoms include a combination of the following:
- Flu-like symptoms and/ or temperature
- Nausea, and/ or vomiting
- Diarrhoea and/ or grey coloured shit/ poo
- Dark piss/ urine
- Loss of appetite
- Joint pain
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- Extreme tiredness
- Stomach pain
- Itchy skin
- Brain 'fog'/ confusion and/ or depression (specific to Hepatitis C)
Hepatitis is complicated so please explore the information and support provided here and/ or get to a sexual health clinic ASAP.
A-Z of sexually transmitted infections (STI) | MEN R US
The A to C of hepatitis | LGBT Hero | 22 Feb | 2019
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Hepatitis B and C | Leeds Sexual Health | 2017 | 3m