Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a virus that infects the liver. It usually causes a mild illness that will go away on its own within 1 to 2 weeks, without needing any treatment.

In the recent past, sexually transmitted hepatitis A has been increasing in men who have sex with men (MSM) across Europe, including Ireland.

A safe and effective vaccine is available for the prevention of hepatitis A infection.

To prevent sexual transmission of hepatitis A, vaccination is recommended for:

  • men who have sex with men and partners
  • people in recent close contact with infected individuals

Men who have sex with men should vaccinate against both hepatitis A and B.

Vaccinations in public sexual health or GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinics are provided free of charge. Click here for a list of public STI services available. Your GP may offer vaccinations for a fee.

More information on the sexual transmission and prevention of hepatitis A is available in the Hepatitis A for MSM patient information leaflet.

Further information on hepatitis A is available on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website on other risks for hepatitis A infection (such as occupational and travel) and who should be vaccinated.