Apicha Community Health Center is participating in Hepatitis Awareness Month all through May.
And tomorrow, May 19, is the fourth annual National Hepatitis Testing Day. We encourage everyone to get tested, for several reasons.
What is Hepatitis?
The World Health Organization’s website states that there are: five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread.
According to the CDC, millions of Americans are affected by viral hepatitis. When a person first gets viral hepatitis, he or she can develop a very mild illness with few or no symptoms, or get a more serious illness that can last month months.
Some of the symptoms to look out for are: jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Have you talked to a provider about HIV prevention options? Request an appointment
Both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can progress to a chronic, or lifelong, infection that can cause serious health problems. These complications can potentially include liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death.
Many people with chronic hepatitis are unaware that they are infected. Since an individual can live with the disease for years without showing any symptoms or feeling particularly sick, the importance of being tested for viral hepatitis cannot be understated.
The CDC has many resources on hepatitis. If you are interested in taking a Hepatitis Risk Assessment, the CDC offers one. It only takes a few minutes to answer the 15 questions, and contains recommendations for hepatitis vaccination and/or testing.
To receive information from the CDC about hepatitis resources, tools, publications, campaign updates, and events, follow @cdchep on Twitter.
To request an appointment with Apicha, whether to be tested for Hepatitis, HIV, or to get screened for an STI, go here.