Webster County
Health Department
HIV/Hepatitis

HIV

723 1st Avenue South
Fort Dodge, IA 50501
Phone: 515-573-4107
Fax: 515-955-1682
Hours: 8:00am-4:30pm Monday-Friday
Email: public_health@webstercountyia.org



HIV / Hepatitis / STDs
What are these diseases?

HIV = Human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that kills certain cells in your body that help fight off infection & disease.  HIV is spread by having unprotected sex or sharing drug injection needles.  It can also be spread from mother to baby through pregnancy.  Blood to blood contact is another way.  Those living with HIV can live a long time by taking the right medications.  The disease is not curable.

Hepatitis A = is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is one of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation that affects your liver's ability to function.  Hepatitis A is spread mostly by food contamination such as a restaurant worker not washing their hands after going to the bathroom and then working with your food.  If treated early there is no long lasting liver damage.  The disease is curable.

Hepatitis B = is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). For some people, hepatitis B infection becomes chronic, leading to liver failure, liver cancer, or cirrhosis — a condition that causes permanent scarring of the liver.  Hepatitis B is spread the same way as HIV by having unprotected sex or sharing drug injection needles.  It can also be spread from mother to baby through pregnancy.  Blood to blood contact is another way.  There are medications that can help you live with the disease and recover fully, but there is no cure for the disease.

Hepatitis C = is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and leads to inflammation. Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms. In fact, most people don't know they have the hepatitis C infection until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests.  Hepatitis C is spread mostly through IV drug use.  Although not impossible to get it from having unprotected sex but it is highly unlikely because hepatitis C is spread through blood to blood contact.  Hepatitis C is the most severe of the diseases because it could take years to have any symptoms in which by that time severe liver damage could be done already.  This disease is treatable by taking anti-viral medications.  Sometimes if the damage is not severe a doctor may choose not to treat it, but will continue to do blood tests to check it.  A liver transplant is an option if damage is severe.

 

Additional Information

 


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