Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver, often caused by a virus. The liver is the primary organ responsible for removing toxins out of the system. Inflammation in the liver could impair the body’s filtration system, causing a range of health problems. The inflammatory liver disease can have serious repercussions on health if not addressed on time. To create awareness about the disease, prevent the spread and to achieve better treatment outcomes, the World Health Organization observes World Hepatitis Day every year on July 28. There are five types of viral hepatitis – A, B, C, D and E. Some can spread through sexual contact. Here’s a complete lowdown on hepatitis that is sexually transmitted.

What Types of Hepatitis are Sexually Transmitted?

Three types of hepatitis – A, B and C – can be spread through sexual contact.

Hepatitis A: Although it is spread through the faecal-oral route, this type of hepatitis can be spread through any type of sexual activity. Even if a small amount of faeces gets into a healthy person’s body through any kind of contact, infection is likely. According to CDC, typical prophylactics like condoms cannot stop the transmission of hepatitis A. Vaccination is the only way.

Hepatitis B: This type of hepatitis is deadlier than HIV when it comes to transmission. Hepatitis B is primarily spread through unprotected sex and having multiple sexual partners. The virus causing hepatitis B is found in bodily fluids such as semen, saliva and vaginal secretions. It’s not spread through touching, hugging or pecking on the lips. But it’s unclear whether hepatitis B can be spread through French kissing. A Complete Guide To Keeping Your Child Safe From 5 Types of Hepatitis.

Hepatitis Facts (Watch Video):

Hepatitis C: This type of hepatitis spread through contact with the infected person’s blood. CDC states that having a sexually transmitted disease like HIV, promiscuous behaviour and rough sex increases the risk of hepatitis C. According to WebMD, only two percent sexual partners of an infected person contracts hepatitis C as per statistic evidence. Long-term monogamous partners rarely get infected.

Tips to Prevent Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis

To prevent hepatitis A:

  • Avoid physical contact with people who have the disease
  • Never drink unclean water without treating it first or eat unsanitary food
  • Avoid street food
  • Don’t eat raw food from places you don’t trust
  • Avoid ice cubes while dining out
  • Wash hands after using public bathrooms
  • Vaccination

To prevent hepatitis B:

  • Don’t share razors, toothbrushes, tongue cleaners, syringes etc.
  • Use latex or polyurethane condoms
  • Don’t get tattoos from shops that don’t sterilise their equipment

To prevent hepatitis C:

  • Don’t share needles
  • Use protection to have sex
  • Don’t share vibrators or sex toys
  • Get to know your partner’s medical history

Hepatitis can infect men and women equally. The risk depends upon behaviour rather than gender, age or race. However, men who have sexual relations with other men are 10-15 times more at risk of contracting hepatitis. Seemingly healthy people can carry symptoms. So it’s always advisable to get to know your partner’s medical history before indulging in sexual activities.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 28, 2019 08:16 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).