The thought of dating someone who has a disease might be extremely unnerving to some people. However, it is important to understand not all diseases are made equal. Even the many strains of a disease are far different from each other.
For example, the different types of hepatitis vary greatly from each other in many ways. That is why individuals should take the time to educate themselves on the specifics of each type of hepatitis and what it means to date someone who has them. Here is an in-depth guide of everything you need to know about having a partner with hepatitis.
It Is More Common Than You Think
Unless you know someone who has hepatitis, then chances are you think it is an extremely rare disease that you don’t have to worry about. However, the various strains of hepatitis are likely far more common in the United States than you think.
While the statistics might seem reassuring considering only about 2% of the total population of the country is affected with some form of hepatitis, it is actually far more rampant when converted into different numbers. For the United States, a mere 2% of the total population accounts for approximately 6.5 million people.
That is a lot of individuals throughout the country who are walking around with some form of hepatitis. If you have had multiple sexual partners throughout your life, it puts an even higher chance you have dated someone, are currently dating someone, or will soon be dating someone who has hepatitis.
As previously mentioned, not all strains of hepatitis are made equal. With a total of five different types of hepatitis, each of them carry a different set of symptoms, risk, and methods of infection. Hepatitis A is one of the most common forms of hepatitis and is largely foodborne. This is what makes it so dangerous since everyone eats food often handled by other people in this country.
The bittersweet news of hepatitis A is it often makes itself well-known within a person’s system. So individuals do not have to worry about unknowingly carrying a disease for months or even years because the symptoms of Hepatitis A often appear quickly after contracting the disease. The most common symptoms include diarrhea, jaundice, fever and more. Thankfully, hepatitis A tends to completely disappear from a person’s system after a few months.
Unlike hepatitis A, hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids, which means you will not be able to get it from eating any food. The symptoms of hepatitis B are even more serious than hepatitis A, with the possibility of leading to liver cancer and cirrhosis. Unfortunately, hepatitis B is far trickier to detect than hepatitis A and tends to show very few symptoms in many individuals.
In many ways, hepatitis C is just a slightly more serious form of hepatitis B. This disease is bloodborne, which means that you need to come in contact with an infected person’s blood in order to also contract the disease.
Like hepatitis B, hepatitis C can often result in very few symptoms showing in the vast majority of people who have this disease. With as many as 80% of infected individuals walking around with no symptoms whatsoever, it is important that people regularly get tested to ensure they have a clean bill of health.
In order for someone to have hepatitis D, they first need to have contracted hepatitis B. In the number of hepatitis B cases around the world, only about 5% convert into hepatitis D cases. This particular strain of the disease is still relatively new to the scientific world, so methods of treatment are currently limited but progressing.
This form of hepatitis is very similar to hepatitis A in that it is also transmitted through fecal matter and food. It also tends to disappear from a person’s system after a few months. Luckily, it is very rare for this strain of hepatitis to occur within the United States.
Prevention is Easy
Just because you are dating someone who has one of these forms of hepatitis, does not necessarily mean you should be worried about contracting the disease. Despite what many people tend to think, none of these forms of hepatitis are able to be transmitted through simple acts like kissing or hugging. In fact, even having traditional sex is usually not enough to cause the disease to infect their partner.
If you are really worried about getting your partner’s disease, then you just need to ensure you are completing simple tasks like washing your hands after using the bathroom, not sharing toothbrushes or razor blades, and using a condom every time you have sex. Practicing these methods, in addition to getting the vaccines that are available for hepatitis A and B, will help to get as close to a guarantee of not getting the disease as possible.
As previously mentioned, it is not always easy to know whether you have a form of hepatitis or not since you could easily have no symptoms. That is why your best bet is to get tested today and find out for sure.