Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is vaccine-preventable virus that attacks the liver and can cause a form of liver disease.

How would I get it?

  • Often thought of as a traveler’s disease, Hep A can be spread through sexual contact, especially analingus (where there may be feces to mouth contact), or sharing drug equipment with an infected partner.

What kind of symptoms could I have if I am infected? 

  • Not everyone will have symptoms
  • When first infected, people may experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin), dark urine, low-grade fever and loss of appetite

How do I prevent this?

  • Condoms and dental dams
  • Vaccination
  • Using clean needles

How do I get tested?

  • Blood test; expect results to come back in 1-2 weeks

What if I test positive?

  • There is no medication that is used to treat Hepatitis A
  • Hep A is a reportable infection – meaning someone from Public Health may contact you for further information and you are required to notify partners. Should you prefer to remain anonymous, Public Health can assist by notifying any or all partners. 
  • If you are infected, the infection will run its course and you will recover completely
  • Recovery time varies for each individual
  • Occasionally, people need to be hospitalized for supportive care (intravenous fluids)

How do I know it’s gone?

  • Once infected and recovered, or vaccinated – you are protected for life from getting it again

Learn more here