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vaccine after exposure?
Nov 27, 2005

About a week ago I had unprotected oral sex plus deep kissing and rimming with a professional sex worker overseas. Afterwards, I noticed that her eyes were blodshot and had a yellow tint. Is this a sign of Hepatitis? I had a blood test for HIV and Hep a few days later, but I don't know the results yet, and it's too early for the antibodies to show anyway. My main question is whether it makes sense to get a Hep vaccine now. I'm concerned that the vaccine could make it difficult later to discover whether I had been infected or not. I obtained contradictory answers to these questions from doctors and nurses.

Response from Dr. McGovern

If you had a blood test for hepatitis viruses, then you will know if you need vaccine or not. When someone is pursuing vaccination for exposure to hepatitis B, there are two forms of protection - immunoglobulin and vaccine. It is preferred to receive this protection within about 72 hours of exposure. Usually, this can be accomplished with confirmatory laboratory testing.

If you are negative for hepatitis B, I would certainly proceed with vaccination at the very least to protect you from hepatitis B exposure in the future.



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