Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver and can be caused by a number of factors including a sexually-transmitted infection. This section deals predominantly with viral hepatitis. The three main issues with some of the viruses that cause hepatitis are that unless those people who are infected are aware, there is a risk they will pass the hepatitis virus onto other people; up to a quarter of patients will develop cirrhosis of the liver which can progress to liver failure and; hepatitis B and hepatitis C both increase the risk of developing liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).