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There are a range of bugs and viruses that you can catch during sex. Learn about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), how to prevent them, how to diagnose them and how they are treated.

Hepatitis A

What is it?

Hepatitis A is a viral infection which can cause inflammation of the liver.

How do you get it?

The hepatitis A virus can live outside the body for several hours on hands or other objects. There are several ways you can get hepatitis A:

  • from having sex with someone who has hepatitis A and ingesting trace amounts of shit — this can happen by going from being fucked by someone to then sucking their cock, rimming their arse, touching used sex toys, handling used condoms, or fingering/fisting and then touching your mouth
  • from sharing injecting equipment with someone who has hepatitis A
  • from  food or drinks contaminated with hepatitis A
What are the symptoms?

Some people don’t have symptoms when they get hepatitis A, which means you can have hepatitis A and not know about it. If you do get symptoms, they can appear 15 to 50 days after exposure.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark urine (piss)
  • Pale shit
  • Yellow skin and eyes — known as jaundice
  • Extreme or constant tiredness
Diagnosis and treatment

A doctor diagnoses hepatitis A by taking a blood sample for laboratory testing.

There is no direct treatment to cure hepatitis A, though the virus will usually clear naturally. Care involves managing the symptoms by staying rested, keeping hydrated, eating healthy foods and avoiding alcohol.

It can take several weeks for symptoms to go away and a full recovery usually occurs.

How do you prevent it?

The most effective way to prevent hepatitis A is to be vaccinated against it. Vaccination involves two injections given six to 12 months apart.

You can also help prevent hepatitis A by using condoms, dams and gloves during sex and group sex, by washing your hands after arse play or when using sex toys.

Going for regular sexual health tests will identify hepatitis A before it becomes a problem and getting vaccinated helps prevent it from spreading.