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SWISH offers a number of vaccinations against certain sexually transmitted infections. These vaccinations may be offered to people who are at increased risk of contracting a particular infection. The doctor or nurse is trained to identify if you may need one. SWISH do not offer these vaccinations to all people coming to our clinics.
Hepatitis A - What is it?
Hepatitis A is caused by a virus that infects the liver. It can be easy to pass on during sex. It can also be contracted through contaminated food and water. Most people will make a full recovery. Hepatitis A symptoms can be so mild you may not realise you have it, but up to six weeks after infection it can cause flu-like symptoms, nausea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin).
Hepatitis A lives in faeces and can be transmitted through:
- Food or water contaminated with faeces
- Through oral or anal sex, when tiny amounts of faeces get on fingers and get into the mouth through rimming, fingering or anal sex without condoms.
As well as vaccination, the infection can be avoided through careful hygiene during and after sex. The advice is to:
- Wash your hands after sex
- Use protection for fingering, rimming and fisting
- Change condoms between anal and oral sex
- Avoid sharing sex toys
- Hepatitis A vaccine consists of two injections over a 6 - 12 months and is an effective method of preventing Hepatitis A.
Hepatitis B - What is it?
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can damage the liver. Often there are no obvious symptoms, but it can cause a flu-like illness, diarrhoea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Hepatitis B can be spread:
- By having unprotected sex with an infected person
- Sharing injecting equipment
- Sharing toothbrushes or razors with an infected person
- From an infected mother to her newborn baby
People who have multiple partners or engage in drug use are more likely to contract Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B is also more common in some areas outside the UK. These include Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent
Hepatitis B vaccine consists of up to four injections over six to twelve months and is an effective method of preventing Hepatitis B.
HPV - What is it?
There are over 100 types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) that infect skin and mucous membranes. Most HPV infections do not cause any symptoms and infections usually resolve on their own. HPV infections which persist can lead to cancers e.g. HPV types 16 and 18 cause anal and throat cancers, penile cancer in men and cervical cancer in women. Other types of HPV such as 6 and 11 cause genital warts. HPV can be transmitted during sexual contact
The HPV is a vaccine used to prevent genital warts and anal cancers caused by certain HPV viruses.
Currently this vaccine is only offered to gay or bisexual men under the age of 46. Heterosexual men and women are not eligible for the HPV vaccine due to the protection already offered by the national HPV vaccination programme in schools. This vaccinates school aged children