It’s not something that’s on our minds all the time, but it’s World Hepatitis Day today, the 28th of July, so let’s talk. There are a few strains of this virus and for anyone who’s floating around in the grey, here’s some information thanks to the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make it a little more black and white.
Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness. It’s transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water, or through direct contact with an infected person. But don’t worry, almost everyone fully recovers from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection that can also cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person and treatment does not cure chronic hepatitis B, it only suppresses the replication of the virus. In other words, you’ll be on the treatment for life.
We also have Hepatitis C (and D and E, but these strains are less common) which can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis meaning your illness could be mild and last for a few weeks or it could become a serious, lifelong illness. A significant number of people who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer, and unlike hepatitis A and B, there is no vaccination for C.
And here are the facts:
- 400 million people are living with hepatitis, and 6-10 million are newly infected each year
- 95% of people with hepatitis don’t know they’re infected
- Over 90% of people with hepatitis C can be completely cured of the virus within 3-6 months
Jeez, so what’s the take away here? GET TESTED. Use protection! Go to a sexual health clinic before each new sexual partner. We need our livers, especially since August 2nd is International Beer Day! And if you need even more of a push, below are 10 songs to strongly encourage you to look after your sexual health and the health of your partner(s).
Twelve Foot Ninja – Sick
Are you tired of being sick? Don’t risk it for the biscuit.
Hellions – Quality of Life
Is important, so ensure yours.
Polaris – The Remedy
Sometimes there is no remedy!
Beartooth – Infection
Kick those foreign organisms. In fact, don’t even let them in in the first place.
Foo Fighters – Long Road to Ruin
It doesn’t have to be!
Ben Lee – Catch My Disease
A Day To Remember – Paranoia
Don’t be paranoid about getting tested, it’s a natural thing, just do it… nike!
Steel Panther – Party All Day
Safe sex all night people.
Pearl Jam – Green Disease
Green is not a healthy colour.
Don Broco – Stay Ignorant
Ignorance isn’t bliss. Don’t be fooled.
Words by Ebony Story
World Hepatitis Day 2019
July 28th – Everywhere