Hepatitis A on the rise among gay and bisexual men

Hepatitis A on the rise among gay and bisexual men


Public Health England has identified an increase of Hepatitis A cases across England.


The increase has been noticed mostly among gay and bisexual men, some of which are associated with travel to Spain. While the numbers are small, Public Health England say it’s unusual to see so many linked cases.

Dr Michael Edelstein, Consultant Epidemiologist in the Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, said: “Public Health England is aware of an increase in hepatitis A cases, where we believe the infection has been spread through sex, most cases occurring in gay and bisexual men.

“Hepatitis A can be prevented by practising good personal hygiene, so we recommend gay and bisexual men wash their hands after sex and change condoms between any kind of sex to reduce their risk of getting hepatitis A.

“Those who are concerned can seek advice from sexual health services about whether they would benefit from hepatitis A vaccination.”

According to Public Health England, symptoms of Hepatitis A can include nausea and vomiting; diarrhoea; loss of appetite; weight loss; jaundice; itchy skin; and a short, mild, flu-like illness.

Some people may have no symptoms at all, but can still pass on the virus to others.

While the disease is mainly spread through contaminated food or from person to person through inadequate hand-washing, it can also be spread through sex, including both oral and anal sex.

More information about Hepatitis A can be found on the NHS website.

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