Hepatitis B (HBV)

Transmission

  • Hepatitis B (HBV) is passed in blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
  • It can be passed from mother to child at birth.

At-Risk Groups

  • Someone who has vaginal and/or anal sex with someone who is infected with HBV.
  • Someone who shares needles, syringes and/or works for any reason, such as using drugs, piercing and/or tattooing. (more)
  • Someone who shares or handles razors, nail files, combs, toothbrushes and/or any other personal care items of someone who has HBV.
  • Someone who has been exposed to body and/or body fluids at work.

If you are at-risk for hepatitis B infection, contact your doctor. Early diagnosis will help prevent spreading the disease and protect your liver.

What you should do

To avoid Hepatitis B

  • Get a preventive Hepatitis A & B vaccine series. (more)
  • Use gloves if touching blood or body fluids.
  • Don’t share needles or works for injecting drugs, piercing, tattooing or any other reason. (more)
  • Don’t share personal care items, such toothbrushes, razors, nail files, combs or washcloths.  Some blood may be on it.
  • Practice safer (more)
  • If you are a health care worker, always follow routine barrier precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps. (more)

If you think you have been exposed to Hepatitis B

  • Contact your primary care physician or go to a Hepatitis testing, counseling and referral site to get tested.
  • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) may be recommended for persons with a confirmed exposure to Hepatitis B, such as newborn infants of mother and sex partners of with Hepatitis B patients or carriers.

If you are infected

  • Rest
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Do not shoot drugs.  Only take medications approved by your physician.
  • Eat healthy food.
  • Get regular check-ups.
  • Get preventive hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations.
  • Do not donate your blood, body organs, other tissue, or sperm.
  • Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or other personal care articles that might have blood/body fluids on them.
  • Cover your cuts or open sores.
  • Abstain from having sex, if not practice safer sex practices. (more)