Following 27 confirmed hepatitis A cases in 9 months affecting men who have sex with men (MSM) (and to a lesser extent people who inject drugs) in Victoria, and a further 13 cases in South Australia since November 2017, senior public health officials in those states have issued advice promoting hepatitis A vaccinations.
There have been no similar notifications in the ACT, however men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs are reminded about the importance of vaccination.
- Hepatitis A is entirely preventable through a safe and effective vaccine.
- Infection usually follows direct contact with an infected person and can include sexual contact, contaminated food (e.g. poor hand hygiene), contaminated water (particularly in developing countries), and less-commonly through unsterile injecting practices.
- Talk to your doctor, sexual health clinic or alcohol & other drug service about getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
- Protection begins within 14-21 days after the first dose of the hepatitis A vaccine. A second dose of vaccine is required for long-term protection.
- The duration of immunity following a second dose is not certain, however for most people it is 10 years or more.
The Mardi Gras parade is coming up (four weeks from the date this notice is published). Protection from vaccination can take up to three weeks. #justsayin
More information and support about hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C is available at Hepatitis ACT:
- (02) 6230 6344
- 36 David St, Turner (opposite O’Connor Shops)