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Vaccinations for hepatitis A and B

Hepatitis is a term used to describe inflammation (swelling) of the liver. It can occur as the result of a viral infection which can be passed on by infected blood/bodily fluids and through unprotected sex with an infected partner. 

Hepatitis B

The best way to prevent hepatitis B infection is by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine is particularly recommended for:

  • people who change sexual partners frequently;
  • men who have sex with men;
  • people who have close contact with someone with hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B vaccine is given in a course of three vaccines over a few weeks or months and then a booster dose may be given at one year. It is very important to complete the vaccination course recommended by the doctor to ensure maximum protection.

You can discuss your likely risk and need for a vaccine with your GP or at a GUM clinic.

Hepatitis B - factsheet for patients (English and 11 translations)

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A can be transmitted from person to person or through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis A can also be prevented by vaccination, and this can be given on its own or in combination with hepatitis B vaccine. The hepatitis A vaccine is given as two injections, six months apart. 

You can discuss your likely risk and need for a vaccine with your GP or at a GUM clinic.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is also a viral infection of the liver that can occasionally be passed on by sexual contact with an infected partner. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, and so the only protection is by always using a condom.

For more information on hepatitis B and C:  

Hepatitis C - Could I be at risk? (English and 6 translations)

Hepatitis C - what now? Patient results factsheet (English and 6 translations)

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