Sexual Health news - Hepatitis B and C

New vaccine may be able to prevent hepatitis C

While some people may not think twice about contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) before becoming intimate, it's best to know your partner's past prior to engaging in sexual behaviors. Depending on your significant other's sexual health, he or she may expose you to diseases ranging from chlamydia to herpes.

One disease that can also be contracted through sexual contact is hepatitis C. As the U.S. National Library of Medicine states, this ailment can result in liver swelling and eventually develop into liver cancer. However, a new type of vaccination may soon put an end to worries as researchers are hopeful for its ability to protect against the infection.

As the Philadelphia Business Journal reported, Inovio Pharmaceuticals will begin testing a vaccine for hepatitis C in humans by the end of the year. Currently, there is no vaccine available for this type of hepatitis, making it big news for healthcare all around the world.

"The major hurdle to developing therapeutic vaccines for these ailments has been the inability to generate a functional T-cell response in the liver [to combat the hepatitis C virus]," J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's president and CEO, told the news source.

If progress is made and the vaccine eventually makes its way into doctors' offices, individuals may be able to protect themselves from hepatitis C and its symptoms. The disease may cause ailments, such as fever, vomiting, fatigue and abdominal pain.

Those who are sexually engaged with others who have the condition can already keep themselves from contracting the disease through the use of condoms. Maintaining a monogamous relationship and asking sexual partners about their STD history can also keep the disease at bay.