Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

Blood borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C are found worldwide, however, some countries have higher levels of infection. Blood borne infections are spread through  any activity causing contact with blood or body fluids. These include:

  • Unprotected sexual intercourse
  • Medical treatment with contaminated equipment
  • Activities that pierce the skin such as tattoos, acupuncture or  body piercings.
  • Contact sports such as rugby or boxing. This increase risk of contact with bodily fluids from an infected person.
  • Occupational exposure- health care workers are particularly at risk.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B(HBV) is a virus that can damage your liver and cause serious health problems.  This potentially fatal virus is spread the same way as HIV but it is 100 times more infectious. 350 million people are believed to be infected worldwide. .[1].   Thankfully, hepatitis b can be prevented through vaccination. If you are travelling to a high risk country you should consider a course of hepatitis b vaccine.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C (HCV) is similar to HBV in that it can be fatal and cause liver damage or serious health problems. HVC is found worldwide but is more common in Africa, Asia and South America. 3% of the world population are believed to be infected. .[2].   There is no vaccine to protect against HCV.


HIV infection occurs anywhere in the world. At the end of 2007 it was estimated that 33.2   million  persons were living with HIV infection  worldwide.[3].   Prevalence is highest in  Africa, South and South East Asia, and   Latin America and the Caribbean. Between 2001 and 2005,  41% of new diagnosis in UK citizens were aquired abroad. Highest risk countries were in Africa and Thailand.

Advice for Travellers

  • Practice safe sex – always use a condom and buy an adequate supply for your trip. Make sure condoms carry the
  • Avoid tattoos or body piercings in foreign countries
  • Carry a sterile medical kit with needles and syringes in if you are travelling to high risk areas
  • Have a course of hepatitis b vaccine before your trip
  • Consider joining the Blood Care Foundation – they can arrange screened blood worldwide for use in an emergency
  • Find out your blood group before travel

To book a hepatitis b vaccine or purchase a sterile medical kit call 01273 749100 or book online