Hepatitis B (HBV)

Menstuff® has compiled information about Hepatitis B.

What is hepatitis B?
How common is hepatitis B?
How can I get hepatitis B?
What are the signs or symptoms of hepatitis B?
How can I find out if I have hepatitis B?
What can I do to reduce my risk of getting hepatitis B?
What is the treatment for hepatitis B?
Why worry about hepatitis B?
Do I need to talk to my partner about hepatitis B?
Should I talk to my health care provider about hepatitis B?
Where can I get more information?
Newsbytes

Resources
Free or Low-Cost Hepatitis Clinic Near You
- www.hepclinics.com
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What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a serious viral infection of the liver. HBV can cause chronic infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure and death. It is estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 people die each year in the United States due to the complications of cirrhosis and liver cancer as a result of HBV.

How common is hepatitis B?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that 1 to 1.25 million people in the United States have chronic HBV. There are an estimated 140,000 to 320,000 new HBV infections each year in the United States.

How can I get hepatitis B?

HBV is found in transmittable levels in body fluids including:

HBV has also been found in low concentrations in other body fluids, though these fluids have NOT been associated with transmission:

HBV may be transmitted:

HBV may also be transmitted in rare cases:

HBV is not spread through food or water or by casual contact.

What are the signs or symptoms of hepatitis B?

Many adults have few or no symptoms. Symptoms may include:

How can I find out if I have hepatitis B?

Your health care provider can confirm HBV by using a special blood test to detect HBV particles or antibodies in the blood.

If your health care provider thinks you may have chronic HBV, other tests, like ultrasound or liver biopsy, may be needed.

Considerations for confirmatory testing one to two months after receiving the hepatitis B vaccine (three shot series) should be made if:

Babies born to infected mothers should get blood tests at aged 9 to 15 months to be certain that the vaccine worked well and that the mother did not pass HBV to her baby during birth.

What can I do to reduce my risk of getting hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination. Since hepatitis D can only co-exist with hepatitis B, getting vaccinated against hepatitis B also protects you against hepatitis D.

The HBV vaccine is given in a series of three doses.

The first and second doses must be given at least one month apart.

The first and third doses must be given at least 4 months apart.

If a dose is missed, it should be given as soon as possible.

The series should not be restarted if a dose is missed.

Routine booster doses of the HBV vaccine are NOT currently recommended.

Consult your health care provider for more information about the HBV vaccine and if it is right for you.

After contact with an individual with chronic hepatitis B, the hepatitis B vaccination alone is recommended and is considered highly effective. However, HIV can impair the response to the hepatitis vaccine.

Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for those who are risk of infection, including:

Sexually active heterosexual men and women, including:

Post exposure treatment to prevent illness (Immune globulin and HBV vaccine); if a person is exposed to hepatitis B and has NOT been vaccinated before the exposure:

Both should be administered within 14 days after the exposure, as treatment is recommended even without testing.

Since 1985, all plasma units for preparation for immune globulin have been screened for HIV.

Sexual prevention of hepatitis B:

What is the treatment for hepatitis B?

Treatment considerations for HBV vary depending on whether the infection is acute or chronic. Always consult your health care provider for specific recommendations and treatment options.

Acute (newly acquired):

Chronic (persistent):

Why worry about hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B can cause:

The best news is that hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination. A person can choose to be vaccinated and not have to worry.

Do I need to talk to my partner about hepatitis B?

Yes. If you have an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection then you DO need to talk to your partner about it so they can decide what option is best for them to prevent getting infected.

Do I need to talk to my health care provider about hepatitis B?

Yes. Since hepatitis B is a preventable disease through vaccination, it is a good idea to talk to your health care provider about whether the vaccine is right for you.

If you find out you have been exposed to hepatitis B, consult your health care provider as soon as possible to discuss your best options to help prevent infection.

Where can I get more information?

If you have additional questions about hepatitis B, call the National STD and AIDS Hotlines at 1-800-342-2437 or 1-800-227-8922. The hotlines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For information in Spanish call 1-800-344-7432, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week. For the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing call 1-800-243-7889, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. The hotlines provide referrals and more answers to your questions. Be sure to request free printed information on hepatitis B when you call the hotlines.

Newsbytes



Potential Treatment For Patients With Hepatitis B


Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California report that the compound Interleukin-18 (IL-18) may control replication of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and be an effective therapy for patients already being treated for chronic hepatitis. Their results appear in the November 2002 issue of the Journal of Virology.
Source: American Society for Microbiology, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC000/333/333/356851.html

FDA OKs Chronic Hepatitis B Drug


Patients suffering from the liver-destroying hepatitis B virus will be able to use a new drug therapy.
Source:
www.intelihealth.com/enews?355675

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