Hepatitis B

hepatitisThe Hepatitis B virus affects liver health.  There are three different types: Hepatitis A, B, and C.  Hepatitis B is the only one that is considered an STI.

Transmission

Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. Using a condom or dental dam can help reduce the chance of transmission.

Symptoms & Complications

Hepatitis B causes either an acute infection that lasts several weeks, or a chronic infection that lasts longer-term. Initial symptoms include flu-like symptoms, dark urine, grey stool, yellow eyes and skin. In 95% of Hepatitis B cases, infected people only have symptoms once, for a short period of time. In very few cases, Hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer and liver disease.

Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms or think you’ve been exposed to Hepatitis B  it’s very important to get tested. Hepatitis B is tested through a blood draw.

Treatment

Hepatitis B is not curable but it is treatable.  Treatment for Hepatitis B varies depending on severity.  However,  there is a vaccine available to prevent the virus; most people in the USA receive the vaccine as infants.

Learn More

For detailed information on Hepatitis infections, check the Center for Disease Control. You can also ask us an anonymous question right on our website. If you are experiencing symptoms of an STI, think you’ve been exposed to an STI, or want to talk to a professional, call Teen Clinic to make an appointment with a qualified health care provider.