Hepatitis B Virus – Testing & Vaccination
ON SITE TESTS WITH IMMEDIATE RESULTS!
If you are concerned that you may have contracted Hepatitis B, you need to get tested as a matter of urgency; (a) because you could be unwittingly spreading the disease by infecting your sexual partners or (b) because you’re potentially putting others at risk in your household. Broadgate GP operates a walk-in sexual health clinic, where you can get both tested, and vaccinated against possible future infection, should you believe yourself to be at risk.
Chronic Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). If you are infected and you develop chronic Hepatitis B, this can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and in some cases can prove fatal. Chronic Hep B develops if you are still infected 6 months after your initial exposure to the virus.
How the Hepatitis virus is transmitted
Most people (60% – 65%) actually fight off the infection unaided, and if they do so within the first 6 months following the original infection, they will remain immune for the rest of their lives. One of the problems with knowing whether or not you have been infected is that in the majority of cases the disease is symptomless.
However, even though you may feel perfectly well, and do not present any symptoms whatsoever, you are still a carrier and can infect others, either through unprotected sex with someone, or coming into bodily contact via any open wounds you may both have.
Common symptoms of Hepatitis B
The most common symptoms of Hepatitis B (presented only 35% to 40% of the time) include:
- Flu-like symptoms – often never associate these as being Hepatitis B
- Joint pain
- Poor appetite
- Muscle pain
If the disease progresses to the chronic stage and cirrhosis of the liver sets in, the symptoms include:
- Bloated abdomen
- Jaundice (yellowing skin and eyes)
- Severe nausea
- Severe vomiting
Getting advice from sexual health clinicians
The members of staff at Broadgate Sexual Health Clinic are all sexual health professionals. They will fully explain the consequences of any infection you may have, advise you regarding your lifestyle choices, and can talk you through advising any sexual partners you may have innocently infected. Also, the importance of making anybody in your household aware of your situation, and the possible threat of cross contamination. Certain items of personal hygiene should be carefully segregated and not shared, things like:
- Manicuring tools
- Pierced jewellery items
Used band-aids must be carefully disposed of; anything that could potentially carry infected blood or fluid must be must be kept away from others.
Are you travelling to countries where Hep B is prevalent?
If you are going to be travelling abroad, and you are going to countries where Hepatitis B is prevalent (check out this link to the World Healthcare Organisation (WHO) where you will find an interactive map), you are advised to get vaccinated before you travel.
No appointment necessary
All of the STI clinics in London can both test you for an existing Hep B infection, and/or will be able to offer you the vaccination for future protection. Most clinics test only by appointment, but at Broadgate GP Sexual Health Clinic in London, we welcome visitors to walk-in any time during our opening hours (Mon – Thurs 08:00 to 18:30 – Fri 08:00 to 17:30).
If you would like more information about our Sexual Health Clinic, don’t hesitate to contact us today on 020 7638 4330.
Arrange Sexual Health Clinic Appointment Today!