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Hepatitis C Advocacy
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis A virus, otherwise known as HAV is found in fecal matter and is transmitted when the feces of an infected person comes in contact with the mouth of another person. In most instances this contamination occurs as a result of swallowing contaminated food or water or through direct anal-oral sexual contact (rimming). In either case, the virus can be transmitted by a small amount of fecal matter that may not be visible to the naked eye. Hepatitis A is diagnosed by a simple antibody blood test. Most people infected with hepatitis A have a complete recovery within 4 to 8 weeks. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or eyes), diarrhea, and/or an extreme lack of energy. Hepatitis A is self-limited, meaning that it is not a chronic infection (one does not have it for life) and most often does not cause long term or permanent effects. Once someone recovers from hepatitis A, they develop antibodies that will protect them from future exposures. Getting the hepatitis A vaccination can prevent a person from becoming infected later. It is given in a series of two shots over the course of 6 months. It is strongly recommended for people with HIV and hepatitis C, as it can be life-threatening if someone with either virus is exposed to Hepatitis A.
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  The information contained on this site is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice and should not be used as such. We recommend in all cases for an individual to consult a physician prior to pursuing any course of treatment.