Hepatitis: Vaccinations for hepatitis A & B
Most of us were probably vaccinated or immunised against some preventable diseases as children. Some lucky enough to travel may have been vaccinated before visiting certain countries where small pox and other illnesses are still common. Unfortunately, few of us have been vaccinated against preventable bloodborne viruses such as hepatitis A and B.
There are at least five human hepatitis viruses which are not related to each other. They are transmitted in different manners and cause different diseases. Hepatitis A, B and C are the most common in Australia and the ones we have probably heard most about.
How and where?
Ask your local needle and syringe program (NSP) or visit your local community health centre or sexual health clinic and ask about testing and vaccinations for hep A, B and C. Vaccinations for hep A and B are free if you have chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis, or are an injecting drug user. Public pharmacotherapy programs and even some NSPs provide on site screening and vaccination, so ask. Even if they don’t they should refer you to the closest free clinic. Or you can ring NUAA for more information.
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