Hepatitis A virus is a virus that causes an acute damage to the liver. The infection is through contacting with stools (feces) that contain the virus, which can also be contaminated in food, water or surfaces. In general, it tends to be more severe in adolescents and adults but can be resolved without any treatment. People with HAV may or may not have symptoms. Common symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, stomachache and yellow skin (jaundice)/yellow eyes.

Transmission

  • • Consumption of contaminated water or food
  • • Sexual practices that include mouth-to-anus contact
  • • Use of injection drugs in unsanitary conditions

Treatment

No specific treatment, depending on symptoms

Prevention

  • • Eat food and drink water that have been properly cleaned and thoroughly cooked
  • • Frequent handwashing with plain soap and water
  • • Use condom when having sex
  • • Vaccination highly recommended for men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs

Screening/Testing

HAV screening is not necessary except when vaccination needed.

Vaccination

  • • HAV antibody test should be taken before vaccination. You can select one of the following methods:
  •  Anti-HAV IgG is an antibody test. A positive result is indicative of past infection or vaccination against HAV. Therefore, it is unnecessary for those with positive result to receive vaccination.
  •  Anti-HAV IgM is an antibody test used when a patient is suspected of HAV infection. It can be detectable during the acute stage of illness, while anti-HAV IgG may be present for many years after recovery or following vaccination.
  •  Anti-HAV total is primarily tested to determine exposure to HAV either naturally or due to vaccination. This test combines IgM and IgG together.
  • • Vaccination schedule is 2 injections separated by at least 6 months. You do not need to take a blood test after being vaccinated.
  • • In case you miss or delay an appointment, the vaccination can be continued without having to re-start the first dose.
  • • Safe for for people living with HIV

If a slight cold is presists, a different vaccine of choice may be an option for the second dose.

You may also interest:

Hepatitis A Virus

The infection is through contacting with stools (feces) that contain the virus, which can also be contaminated in food, water or surfaces. In general, it tends to be more severe in adolescents and adults but can be resolved without any treatment.

See all articles

Hepatitis C Virus

Hepatitis C virus is a virus that can cause damage to liver and often lead to chronic hepatitis C which can develop into a serious disease such as cirrhosis and cancer.

See all articles

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