Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. This condition is most often caused by a virus. The most common causes of viral hepatitis are hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). HBV and HCV are common among people who are at risk for, or living with, HIV. You can get some of viral hepatitis the same way you get HIV—through unprotected sexual contact and injection drug use. HAV causes a short-term severe illness, is usually spread when the virus is ingested from contact with food and objects (including injection drug equipment).