"Dear Experts: Can you tell me more about Hepatitis?"
Hepatitis is a group of viruses that affect the liver. The most common types are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis A is caused by infection with the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and does not result in chronic infection or chronic liver disease. HAV infection is primarily transmitted by either person-to-person contact or by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and can be self-limiting or chronic. HBV is spread when exposed to infected blood or body fluids that contain the HBV virus. Risk factors for getting this virus are: unprotected sex with an infected partner, babies born to an infected mother, unprotected sex with more than one partner, men who have sex with other men (MSM), history of other STIs, and illegal injection drug use.
Hope this helps.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States. Although the HCV virus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, the most common infection is through a blood transfusion from unscreened donors or through use of contaminated needles, such as injecting drugs.
There is more information on the CDC website at: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/