(HBV) Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C (HCV) both derive from a virus that causes inflammation of the liver called “Hepatitis.” Hepatitis can be caused by toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, bacterial and viral infections, and is the leading cause of liver cancer, liver failure, and liver transplants. The most common types of Hepatitis are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
This type of viral infection is a contagious liver disease that can range in severity from a mild infection, lasting several weeks to a long-term lifelong illness. In other words, Hepatitis A can be either “acute” or “chronic.” An acute infection usually lasts a few weeks but no more than six months. A chronic infection is the result of an acute Hepatitis B infection remaining in a person’s body for longer than six months, causing permanent damage.
Fortunately, a Hepatitis B vaccine exists to prevent an infection. The Hepatitis B vaccine is safe, effective, and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is usually given as 3-4 shots over a 6-month period. This vaccine stimulates a person’s natural immune system. As a result, the body creates antibodies that protect against the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is transmitted or caught when body fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluid infected with the HBV enters the body of an uninfected person.
Hepatitis C has the potential of becoming a more serious viral infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unlike Hepatitis B whose risk of becoming a chronic infection as an adult is 6%-10%, chances of a Hepatitis C developing into a chronic infection significantly increases to a 75%-85%. Moreover, preventative vaccination against the Hepatitis C virus does not exist. Once you contract the Hepatitis C virus it is more likely (a 75%-85% chance) that your body will not be able to get rid of it, potentially leading to liver complications throughout your lifetime.
Hepatitis C is most commonly caught or spread when blood infected with HCV enters the body of an uninfected person. The most common mode of transmission for Hepatitis C is through the sharing of needles, syringes, other equipment used to inject drugs, and needlestick injuries in health care settings.
Hepatitis has the potential to become chronic, severe, and long-term infection– if left untreated. It is important to get tested for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
The Hepatitis B test only requires a small blood sample. This test looks for the antigens on the surface of the HBV. Although the test can be taken 3 weeks post-exposure to the virus, it is recommended to wait at least 4-6 weeks to get tested.
The Hepatitis C Virus Antibody test searches for antibodies to the HCV, and is also a blood test. The waiting period for this test is 8-9 weeks in order for your body to fully develop detectable antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus.
Testing for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C is easy. STDcheck.com offers private STD testing, which can be completed within minutes.
After you’ve completed your test, you will receive your test results via email in 1-2 days. If you test positive for either Hepatitis B or C, you will be eligible for a free doctor’s consultation. During your phone conversation with the doctor, he or she will recommend treatment and medication options.
Toni Sims is a senior web content writer with STDcheck.com (http://www.stdcheck.com), an online STD testing service. At its core, STDcheck.com is a technology company that has broken the barriers of traditional healthcare. The firm is helping unite the intersection of healthcare and ecommerce, and by doing so, has been able to deliver higher quality of care to health consumers, as well as contributing to the new age of healthcare.
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