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Planned Parenthood

St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri

Hepatitis

You may have heard of hepatitis, but many people are not sure what it is. Hepatitis is an infection of the liver. The group of viruses that infect the liver are called hepatitis viruses. Some types of hepatitis can cause very serious diseases and " in extreme cases " may lead to death.

There is one vaccine to prevent both hepatitis A and hepatitis B. The shot is given in three doses for only $10 for each injection. We currently only offer these vaccinations at ourSpringfield, Missourihealth center.To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, please callourSpringfield health center at 417.883.3800 or visit the contact us page for more information.

Three types of hepatitis virus can be sexually transmitted. The type of hepatitis most likely to be sexually transmitted is hepatitis B (HBV). Hepatitis B is spread through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and urine. Here is some helpful information about heptatitis A andhepatitis B:

Hepatitis A (HAV)

  • A kind of liver infection
  • Often has no symptoms
  • Spread by the fecal-oral route (an object contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A is put into another person's mouth), or by certain sexual activities (such as oral-anal contact with an infected person)
  • Easily spread with or without symptoms

A person can get hepatitis A from infected fecal matter that gets into the mouth " from contaminated food, for example. This infection usually spreads when people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. HAV also can pass from one sex partner to another. Hepatitis A is not a long-term infection; it can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months.A person can only get the infection once.

The vaccine protects against the hepatitis A virus by making your body's immune system develop antibodies. The antibodies will protect you by fighting off the virus if you ever come in contact with it in the future.The Hepatitis A vaccine is highly effective in preventing hepatitis A virus infection. Protection begins approximately 2 to 4 weeks after the first injection.

Hepatitis B (HBV)

  • A kind of liver infection
  • Often has no symptoms
  • Can be spread during sex play
  • Easily spread with or without symptoms
  • Condoms offer good protection for people not vaccinated

Hepatitis B is very contagious. It is passed through an exchange of semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and urine by having sexual intercourse without a latex or female condom, having unprotected oral sex sharing needles and other "works" to inject drugs sharing personal hygiene utensils such as toothbrushes and razors accidental pricks with contaminated needles in the course of health care.

The vaccine protects against the hepatitis B virus by making your body's immune system develop antibodies. The antibodies will protect you by fighting off the virus if you ever come in contact with it in the future. The vaccine has been very successful. In fact, the number of people who get HBV each year has dropped from 260,000 in the 1980s to 46,000 in 2006.

Studies show that the hepatitis B vaccine is safe for most people. It is safe enough to be routinely given to newborns and infants, as well as adults. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, swelling, or itching around the area where the shot is given. Some people get a mild fever. But these symptoms do not last long and go away on their own.

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Hepatitis