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HEPATITISHepatitis 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 or HCV. 

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, and straws for snorting, fucking and fisting. See below: Hepatitis C and chemsex
    Get tested. Click here for a home Hep C home testing kit.
  • 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.


Hepatitis A | NHS
Hepatitis B | NHS
Hepatitis C | NHS
Hep C U Later | NHS
About hepatitis C | The Hepatitis C Trust
Viral Hepatitis | The Liver Trust
Hepatitis | Terrence Higgins Trust
Hepatitis | Wikipedia

A-Z of sexually transmitted infections (STI) | MEN R US
Hepatitis B and C | Leeds Sexual Health | 2017 | 3m

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