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RISK FACTORS

It is important to understand the risk factors of chronic hep B

Hepatitis B risk factors include:

  • Being born in a country where hep B is common
  • Being born to a hep B-infected mother
  • Being born in the U.S., not vaccinated as an infant, and having parents born in high-risk countries
  • Coming in contact with infected body fluids (blood, semen, or vaginal secretions)
  • Living or lived with a partner who has chronic hep B
  • Having unprotected sex with a person infected with hep B
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having had a tattoo or body piercing with unsterilized tools
  • Having shared unsterilized needles
  • Having traveled to countries where hep B is common
GETTING TESTED

In the U.S., as many as 1.4 million people with chronic hepatitis B are undiagnosed

A simple blood test, which is covered by most health insurance plans, will tell if you have chronic hep B:

Blood is taken and sent to a lab
  • Blood is taken from a vein in your arm
  • It is sent to a lab and examined

Hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs)

Hepatitis surface antibody (anti-HBs)
  • These are made by your immune system to fight the hep B virus.
  • If you have these, you are protected from hep B.

Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)

Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)
  • If found in your blood, you are infected with hep B.
  • If these are in your body for more than 6 months, you have chronic hep B.
  • The test may be repeated over a 6-month period for accurate diagnosis.
THE RESULTS

What do the hep B test results mean?

The results of your test will help tell your doctor if you have hepatitis B or if you are currently protected from it. If you find out you have chronic hep B, talk to your doctor to see if treatment is right for you.

IF YOU:
  • Have never been infected with hep B

    • THEN
    • YOU MAY NOT BE protected against the virus
    • YOU SHOULD
    • Get screened and vaccinated
  • Have received the vaccination and develop antibodies against the virus

    • THEN
    • YOU ARE protected against the virus
    • YOU SHOULD
    • Talk to your family and friends about getting screened
  • Were infected with hep B but your body fought it off

    • THEN
    • YOU ARE protected against the virus
    • YOU SHOULD
    • Talk to your family and friends about getting screened
  • Were infected with hep B but your body did not fight it off within 6 months

    • THEN
    • YOU HAVE chronic hep B
    • YOU SHOULD
    • Talk to your doctor about managing your chronic hep B
VACCINATE

If you do not have hepatitis B, and have not been vaccinated, talk to your doctor about getting the hepatitis B vaccine

The hep B vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent hep B infection.

The hep B vaccine has been available since 1982.

Hep B vaccine is 95% effective

The vaccine is available as either: 2 shots, given a month apart OR 3 shots, the first two given a month apart and the 3rd shot given 4 months later.

Vaccine 2-shot or 3-shot series

Talk to your doctor about which vaccine is best for you.

Who should be vaccinated?

  • All unvaccinated pregnant women at risk for infection
  • All newborns at birth, especially if the mother has hep B
  • Children and adolescents who have not been vaccinated
  • Anyone who lives with someone who has hep B
  • Anyone whose sexual partner has hep B
  • People with chronic liver disease, end-stage renal disease, or HIV infection
  • Healthcare and public safety workers exposed to blood
  • Travelers to any of the countries in red in the map below
Map showing countries where travelers should be vaccinated

Vaccines will NOT work for people who already have hepatitis B.