Hepatitis is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the liver. This disease is caused by Hepatitis Virus. This liver damaging disease can spread through sharing needles, sharing food and also through sexual contact with an infected person.
There are at least five types of viral hepatitis that can damage a person’s liver. Leading ones are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and
Hepatitis A – This virus mainly spreads through fecal-oral route. Direct or indirect contact with feces or anus of an infected person can lead to infection. Even a very very tiny amount of infected feces is enough to transmit infection to a perfectly healthy person.
Hepatitis B – We all know that HIV as a major sexually transmitted infection. But, HBV, Hepatitis B is transmitted 50 to 100 times easily than HIV through sex. This virus, just like HIV is present in all the bodily fluids like blood, vaginal secretions, saliva and semen. Oral sex, especially anal sex where the movement is very rough are major sexual routes to pass on the infection.
HBV does NOT transmit because of holding hands or hugging. However, with deep kissing, the virus can get transmitted especially in cases where the healthy person is wearing braces or have gum problems or having sore throat or cuts in or around the mouth. If a person has more number of sexual partners (Promiscuous), chances of getting infected are very high.
Hepatitis C – This is spread through infected person’s blood, when they are menstruating or having genital sores or cuts. Having more number of sexual partners also increases the chance of getting infected. People have only one partner who they trust can significantly reduce the chances of infection.
Gender doesn’t play a major role as far as the spreading of this virus is concerned. It depends on how many sexual partners a person has and how active he/she is sexually. However, women get infected more easily than men but gay men are at higher risk of infection. (As their intercourse may be rough, it can result in skin tearing sometimes which exposes the healthy person to virus).
There are no telltale signs to identify a person with Hepatitis. Even though infected, some people look to be in perfect health. If you notice that your new partner has yellowing skin, eyes (a condition called Jaundice), then that may be good sign that he/she is infected with Hepatitis Virus. The only perfect way to know if any person is infected is to get tested.
Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, joint or abdominal pain and brown coloured stools.
As said, sexual activities that cause the skin to tear or bleed can spread infection quickly and easily. Anal sex is more risky than vaginal sex. Even rough oral sex can spread the infection. Having a barrier such a condom or a dental dam or female condom can reduce the transmission or exchange of bodily fluids, there by arresting the spread.
That’s very much possible. The virus can live on the surface of the used sex toys for many days. When used by other healthy person without proper washing and sterilizing it, there are chances that the healthy person also gets infected.
Latex condoms are 99% efficient and can stop the spreading. A plain condom is recommended than a flavoured one which can fail during the intercourse due to the lubricant used.