for Veterans and the Public
What can I do to prevent hepatitis A?
Practice good personal hygiene
Because so many cases of hepatitis A are due to close contact with an infected person, you should always practice good personal hygiene, especially by washing your hands.
Be careful in high-risk situation
- Boil water or drink bottled water in areas where there is a risk for hepatitis A contamination.
- Eat cooked foods and fruits that you can peel and avoid eating vegetables or fruits that could have been washed with contaminated water, such as lettuce.
- Avoid eating raw or steamed shellfish, such as oysters, that live in contaminated waters.
- Use condoms correctly and every time you have sex. (See Tips for Using Condoms, on the VA HIV/AIDS website.)
The best way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. The vaccine is very effective and can keep you from ever getting hepatitis A. You will not get hepatitis A from the vaccine.
Ask your VA medical care provider about vaccination if:
- you are in one of the high risk groups listed in "Who is at risk for hepatitis A?"
- you have any other type of chronic liver disease
More on the hepatitis A vaccine follows.