May is Hepatitis Awareness Month and as part of that month, May 19th has been set aside as Hepatitis Testing Day. Hepatitis can have serious health consequences, especially if left untreated. The virus affects the liver. There are many options for hepatitis testing. As you prepare to participate in Hepatitis Testing Day, let’s take a look at the different forms of hepatitis.
Hepatitis A is usually spread through the mouth when contact is made with objects, food or drinks contaminated by the feces of an infected person. While hepatitis A can be transmitted through sexual contact, it is more commonly transmitted through contaminated food and water. This happens when a person does not wash their hands before handling these items. The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen or another fluid from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can often happen through sexual contact or intravenous drug usage. It can also spread from mother to child during pregnancy. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. Symptoms of hepatitis B include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, joint pain and jaundice.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus. This virus can be transmitted through sexual activity or through sharing needles or other equipment used to inject drugs. The current opioid epidemic in the U.S. has led to a significant increase in hepatitis C cases. Traditionally, “baby boomers” (people born between 1945 and 1965), are more likely to contract hepatitis C. In the past few years, many of new cases are appearing in younger people who do not fall into the same “baby boomer” category.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to hepatitis B or C, you should have hepatitis testing performed right away. Many times, symptoms of the infection will not be obvious and testing is the only way to be diagnosed properly. May 19th is an excellent reason to get tested and in honor of Hepatitis Testing Day, STD Test Express is offering 18% of the cost of hepatitis testing.