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Viral hepatitis

Viral hepatitis can be transmitted through sexual activity and can lead to inflammation of the liver. 

Symptoms:

  • Often no symptoms
  • Muscle & joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Temperature
  • Jaundice

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B isn’t common in the UK. However, your risk is increased if you are a man who has sex with men. Also if your partner is from, or if you travel to and have sex in, parts of the world where it is relatively common, such as sub-Saharan Africa, east and southeast Asia, the Middle East and southern and eastern Europe.

Hepatitis B will usually clear within one to three months in 90% of adults. For the other 10%, the infection becomes chronic hepatitis B and may lead to long-term liver problems.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is the most common type of viral hepatitis in the UK.

It is usually spread through blood-to-blood contact but can be caught through sex. Some ways the infection can be spread include:

  • Sharing unsterilised needles – particularly needles used to inject recreational drugs
  • Sharing razors or toothbrushes
  • From a pregnant woman to her unborn baby
  • Through unprotected sex – although this is rare, men who have sex with men are more likely to get infected