Hepatitis: Preventing Infection

Hepatitis: Preventing Infection
22 July 2019
On a global scale, Hepatitis treatment options are relatively easily accessible, but in South Africa we do have a worrying associated problem: our HIV prevalence rate.

World Hepatitis Day

Acknowledged as World Hepatitis Day, 28 July is devoted towards furthering education around Hepatitis and ensuring that treatment is accessible. Several different types of Hepatitis exist, with the associated complications often turning fatal. And, while Hepatitis symptoms are common throughout the types of Hepatitis, symptoms are often ignored or attributed to other health concerns.

Hepatitis and HIV

In South Africa, with an HIV prevalence rate of 18.9%, the danger of contracting or transmitting viral Hepatitis remains worrisome. Viral Hepatitis, and particularly Hepatitis C, infection rates in the country are sky rocketing, and the concern around opportunistic infections within our HIV-positive population is too. Moreover, accessing treatment and Hepatitis vaccinations is not a surety, as an overburdened public health system battles to keep up with the demands of our country.

Your Liver Health

Of course, prevention is better than cure, so here’s how to take care of your liver, and avoid contracting Hepatitis:

  • Take care of your liver: Because Hepatitis causes your liver to become inflamed, keeping your liver healthy is one way to avoid contracting a non-viral form of the disease. Liver inflammation caused by drinking too much alcohol, for example, is completely avoidable. Make sure you and your loved ones drink in moderation.
  • Wash your hands: Always wash your hands properly after using the bathroom.  Practicing hygiene is very important!
  • Keep it clean: If you’re concerned that water or foodstuffs you need to consume is contaminated, rather avoid consumption. In particular, if you’re worried about water safety, bring the water to a boil for at least one full minute before you drink or use it.
  • Vaccinations: Getting vaccinated is a quick way to protect yourself against certain types of Hepatitis. If you are travelling to or from certain parts of the world, Hepatitis vaccinations are required.

LifeDoc Can Help

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