Hepatitis A is one of the most common STDs, however nobody probably ever wants to admit they have it … or how they got it. That’s because the Hepatitis A virus travels through the feces. And when it’s an STD, it’s by-product of anal-oral sexual acts.
About Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A isn’t actually only classified as an STD. It’s actually an inflammation of the liver. Improper hand washing and eating contaminated food has also been known to spread the virus. Many third-world countries deal with this often. However at least in America, Hepatitis A doesn’t always come from a burger and fries at the drive-thru. It’s a rapidly traveling STD effecting many teens and adults.
Signs & Symptoms of Hep A
Symptoms of Hepatitis A can come on suddenly and sharp. Some experience little to no symptoms, some experience major problems which require hospitalization. Within 15-45 days of receiving the Hepatitis A virus, you should expect to see some sort of symptom. While each person is unique, some common symptoms include:
- nausea, vomiting and possibly diarrhea
- weight loss and/or loss of appetite
- feeling “blah” – flu-like symptoms
- jaundice (your skin looks yellow)
- dark urine
- clay-colored stools
- itching skin
How to Prevent Hep A
Unlike some of the other common STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, abstinence isn’t the only way to try and avoid Hep A. Suggestions to stop the transfer of this STD include proper hand washing, washing of the genitals before and after sexual intercourse and condom use. Of course, abstinence from any type of sexual act will also avoid this entire situation completely.
How to Treat Hep A
The great thing about Hep A (if there is a great thing) is that the virus will clear up and once it’s gone, you’re immune to it for life. Most people don’t experience severe complications, however that’s not always the case.
It’s important to be tested for Hepatitis A and see a physician to make sure you recover from the virus as quickly as possible. You could become dehydrated if you experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. You’ll be advised to eat a non-fatty diet and avoid Tylenol since the liver will be working overtime to try and get rid of the virus. Plenty of rest is also required.
You’ll also want to make sure you do everything you can to not spread the disease like wash your hands frequently (especially after restroom use) and before you cook.
As with all STDs, it’s important to know if you have them so you can stop their spread. Find an STD testing facility near you.
For more Information:
Avert: Hepatitis A
PubMed Health: Hepatitis A
MayoClinic: Hepatitis A