Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV) is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. It can cause permanent liver disease and cancer. Most people have no obvious symptoms, and there is no known cure.

Symptoms and Warning signs

A short, flu-like illness, Fatigue, Nausea and vomiting, Diarrhoea Loss of appetite, Weight loss, Jaundice, Itchy skin

How do you get it?

  • By unprotected penetrative sex or sex which draws blood.
  • By oral sex.
  • By sharing needles or other drug injecting equipment contaminated with blood.
  • By using equipment for tattooing, acupuncture or body piercing contaminated with blood.
  • From an infected mother to her baby.
  • Through a blood transfusion in a country where blood is not tested
    – all blood for transfusion is tested in the UK.

How do you treat it?

Most people who acquire Hepatitis B as adults will clear the infection and become immune. Those who remain infected can get treatment though it is not always successful. A vaccine is also available to help protect against Hepatitis B.

Long-term effects:

You are at risk of chronic liver disease. Always wear a condom and avoid sharing toothbrushes or razors as Hepatitis B can be passed on this way.