Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that attacks the liver.  The virus is usually found in blood and bodily fluids (vaginal secretions, semen, breast milk and saliva).  Hepatitis B is prevented by getting a vaccine.

How would I get it?

  • Spread through unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex or through shared needles, occasionally shared items like toothbrushes or razors with an infected partner
  • Mom can pass on to baby during birth

What kind of symptoms could I have if I am infected?

  • Some people will have no symptoms at all when they are first infected.
  • Other people might experience fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and skin), dark urine, low-grade fever and loss of appetite.

How do I prevent this?

  • Condoms and dental dams
  • Vaccination
  • Using clean needles

What if I have been exposed to Hepatitis B?

We suggest you go to the hospital where you may get an injection of antibodies may be given (up to 7 days after a needlestick injury and up to 14 days after sexual contact), followed by the vaccine to help decrease the risk of infection.

How do I get tested?

  • Blood test
  • Results take 1-2 weeks to come back

What if I test positive?

  • Although there is no cure for hepatitis B, excellent medications are available to manage the disease.
  • Hepatitis B is a “Publicly reportable disease” and someone from public health may be contacting you.
  • It is best if your partner(s) are notified and avoid sex until they have been screened and immunized.
  • Public health can help with partner notification and allow you to remain anonymous.

How do I know it’s gone?

  • You will likely need to be followed by a Hepatitis B specialist.  We can help with that!
  • If treated early, Hepatitis B can be very well controlled.
  • Untreated Hepatitis B can lead to chronic liver damage, liver cancer and other serious health issues.

Need more info? Learn more here