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Should I get vaccinated for Hep A & B
Oct 23, 2004

I'm a male who recently had sex with a prostitute. It's been about a week (6 days) since I had unprotected sex with her? I'm scared to death of what I may have caught. Should I go get Hepetitis A & B vaccination shots now even though I may be exposed? Is Hepetitis C cureable if I get that?

Response from Dr. McGovern

Hepatitis A would only be spread if the prostitute happened to have acute hepatitis A at the time of your exposure. This would be unlikely.

Hepatitis B is only spread by someone who is a carrier. It is not spread by someone who had hepatitis B in the past and cleared it. Only a small minority of people in the US become carriers; the rest clear the infection. So the chance of getting hepatitis B from one unprotected exposure from a prostitute would be low.

Sexual transmission of hepatitis C does occur but is not common.

I would consider getting baseline testing for hepatitis viruses and discussing the issue of vaccination - particularly for hepatitis B. I would also get baseline HIV testing and discuss the exposure with your physician so you will get proper follow-up for other possible STDs. Dr. McGovern



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