Acute hepatitis B infections land people in hospital in Rovaniemi – unsafe sex and dirty syringes lead to disease

Participation Center Udi is a day center for drug users in Rovaniemi. At this facility you can get health advice and you can exchange needles and syringes.

Photo: Jussi Leinonen

In the Rovaniemi region, people have been hospitalized with acute hepatitis B infection, the Welfare Region of Lapland reports.

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus. It is spread through unprotected sex or blood, for example by sharing syringes and needles.

The first symptoms of the disease include nausea, fatigue and yellowing of the skin. Some of the patients are chronic carriers of the disease.

Lapland's welfare area reminds that infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to blood. It is important to use clean needles. A condom, on the other hand, protects against sexually transmitted infections.

In Rovaniemi, anonymous testing for hepatitis C and HIV can be done at the Participating Center in Oodi. In addition, those in risk groups can receive a laboratory referral for hepatitis B testing and free hepatitis vaccination for themselves and their loved ones. The participating center also has a needle exchange point.

There is an HIV police at Rinninekulma health center where you can test for HIV anonymously with a rapid test. A laboratory referral can be obtained from the HIV Police to test for Hepatitis B and C.

You can also contact your own health center if you suspect an infection. Contact information can be found at lapha.fi/seksitautid.

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