Hep B (Hepatitis B)

Hep B (Hepatitis B) is a viral infection of the liver that can cause chronic liver disease.

At-Risk Populations

  • Anyone who has vaginal and/or anal sex with someone else who is infected with Hepatitis B virus (HBV).
  • Anyone who shares needles, syringes, or works for injecting drugs, piercing, and/or tattooing.
  • Anyone who shares or handles razors, nail files, combs, toothbrushes, and/or any other personal care items of someone who has hepatitis B.
  • Anyone who is exposed to blood or bodily fluids at work.
  • If you are at-risk for HBV infection, contact your healthcare provider. Early diagnosis will help prevent spreading the disease and protect your liver.

    Symptoms

    How It Spreads

    HBV is spread by coming in contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluids of someone who has HBV. It can also be spread from a woman to her newborn during childbirth.

    Prevention

    • Get the hepatitis B vaccine series. (more)
    • Wear gloves if you come in contact with blood or other bodily fluids.
    • Don't share or reuse needles or works for injecting drugs, for body piercing, or for tattooing. (more)
    • Don't share personal care items, such as toothbrushes, razors, nail files, combs, or washcloths. There may be blood on these items that you cannot see.
    • Use a condom every time you have sex.(more)
    • If you are a healthcare worker, always follow universal precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps. (more)
    • Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) may be recommended for someone who is exposed to another person who has HBV. (babies born to mothers who have hepatitis B or sex partners of people who have hepatitis B)

    Testing & Diagnosis

    If you think you have been exposed to HBV, contact your healthcare provider.

    Treatment

    • Rest.
    • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages.
    • Do not inject or snort drugs.
    • Only take medications that are approved by your healthcare provider.
    • Eat healthy food.
    • Get regular check-ups.
    • Get hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations.
    • Do not donate your blood, body organs, tissue, or sperm.
    • Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or other personal care articles that might have blood/bodily fluids on them.
    • Cover your cuts and open sores.
    • Use a condom every time you have sex.