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Outbreak of hepatitis A! Get your vaccination now
There is a outbreak of Hepatitis A among bi and gay men in the Netherlands and worldwide. Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a highly contagious virus. It is passed on during sex, but also through poor hygiene. Having two vaccinations is an easy way to prevent infection. Get your vaccination now at the GGD Amsterdam!
Outbreak in the Netherlands and worldwide
Hepatitis A is currently very common among men who have sex with men. More than 1500 cases have already been diagnosed in Europe, and the virus is now found more often among men in the Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam. Hepatitis A will probably spread even further during global events such as Prides and festivals.
Symptoms of hepatitis A
Symptoms normally appear two to six weeks after infection. One or more of the following symptoms could point to an infection with the hepatitis A virus:
- Stomach pain
- Dark urine (like strong tea) and pale faeces
- Whites of the eyes and skin turn yellow (jaundice)
Transmission of hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is very infectious. The virus is transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated with faeces. In tropical regions, you could get hepatitis A from any contact with contaminated water or food. Hepatitis A is also passed on during anal sex: licking the anus (rimming), fingering, fist fucking (fisting) or just touching your sex partner’s anus. And you can become infected with the virus by using a towel or tap that has come into contact with faeces.
Hygiene measures against hepatitis A
You can help to prevent hepatitis A spreading any further by
- Washing your hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and before cooking/eating;
- Washing your hands with soap and water before and after sex (or taking a shower);
- Not sharing any sex toys;
- Using condoms or latex gloves for anal sex, rimming, fingering, fisting, etc.
Preventing hepatitis A
Getting vaccinated to prevent infection with hepatitis A is the best protection. Two vaccinations usually give lifelong protection, but the first vaccination will immediately protect you against the virus. You can make an appointment to get vaccinated at the GGD Amsterdam by calling 020-5555 464. Vaccination against hepatitis A is not free. But your health insurance may cover some of the costs.
If you are still not vaccinated against hepatitis B there is a combined vaccine that protects against hepatitis A and B. Ask the nurse of the GGD about it when you go for your free hepatitis B vaccination. Then you will only pay the extra cost for the hepatitis A vaccination.
- (free) hepatitis B vaccination: you can make an appointment online at mantotman.nl or call (020) 555 5464. Every Thursday evening between 17-19.30 hr you can also walk in to GGD Amsterdam (third floor) without an appointment.
- combined hepatitis A/B vaccination: you can make an appointment online at mantotman.nl or call (020) 555 5464. Every Thursday evening between 17.00-19.30 hr you can also walk in to GGD Amsterdam (third floor) without an appointment.
- Hepatitis A vaccination: you can call (020) 555 5464 to make an appointment. Every Thursday evening between 17.00-19.30 hr you can walk in to GGD Amsterdam (third floor) without an appointment.