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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

More Information

Hepatitis B is one type of hepatitis - a liver disease- caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B spreads by contact with an infected person's blood, semen or other body fluid.

Risk factors for Hepatitis B include:

  • Contact with blood borne products
  • Exposure to blood contaminated needles
  • Using intravenous drugs
  • Getting tattoos in a facility that does not use sterile techniques
  • Engaging in unprotected sex with an individual who has Hepatitis B

 

If you get Hepatitis B, you may feel as if you have the flu, or you may have no symptoms at all. A blood test can be used to diagnose Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B usually gets better on its own after a few months. If it does not get better, it is called chronic Hepatitis B, which lasts a lifetime. Chronic Hepatitis B can lead to scarring of the liver, liver failure, or liver cancer.

You can help protect yourself against Hepatitis B by:

  • Getting the HBV vaccine which all service members should receive
  • Not engaging in unprotected sex
  • Avoiding illicit injectable drugs
  • Avoiding contaminated needles
  • Wearing protective clothing if in contact with blood or other bodily fluids.

 

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