There are many different Hepatitis viruses and we are particularly concerned about Hepatitis A, B and C. All these types of hepatitis can be transferred by contaminated blood and sharing needles and works but they can also be transferred by other means. Hepatitis A is more common outside the UK and is usually passed on through contaminated food and water and in the faeces of infected people. This means it can be potentially passed on through any anal sexual contact. Hepatitis B can be spread through blood and body fluids and can be passed on during oral sex. Hepatitis C is usually spread through contaminated blood but there is a small risk of spread through sexual contact.
Hepatitis infection may not cause any symptoms but might cause a flu like illness with abdominal pains and jaundice (yellow colouration of skin and eyes). Many people clear the virus but in some it becomes persistent, and if not treated can cause liver scarring (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
It can be tested for with a blood test and treatments are available through the sexual health clinic. Please see the attached leaflets for more information or contact Choices or drop in during opening hours if you would like to arrange a test.
Further information leaflets downloads: