Hepatitis B is usually spread by:

  • contact with blood or certain blood fluids of an infected person
  • an infected mother to her newborn during childbirth
  • using unsterile needles
  • ​using contaminated razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, etc
  • having unprotected sex
  • living with someone who has Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that attacks the liver. It can lead to severe illness, liver cancer, and in some cases, death.

Hepatitis B is vaccine preventable.

Why should people be tested for hepatitis B?

  • ​People born in Asia, Africa, and other regions with moderate to high rates of Hepatitis B
  • Unvaccinated people whose parents are from those regions
  • People who live with someone who has Hepatitis B
  • ​Anyone having sex with a person infected with Hepatitis B
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men
  • People who inject drugs
  • People with HIV
  • People on hemodialysis
  • ​People who receive chemotherapy or other types of immunosuppressive therapy

For More Information

Who should be tested for hepatitis B? 

There are treatments available for Hepatitis B that can prevent serious liver damage

What is hepatitis B? 

​Testing is the only way to know if you have Hepatitis B

​The Hepatitis B vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting people who have never had Hepatitis B from getting it

The hepatitis B vaccine is given as 3 or 4 shots over six months, depending upon the brand of the vaccine. 

Hepatitis B often doesn't cause symptoms, so many people can live with it for years without feeling sick. Most people were infected with the virus at birth or during early childhood. 

Because many who are infected are unaware that they have Hepatitis B, they can unknowingly spread the disease to others.

How is hepatitis B spread? 

Hepatitis B is NOT spread by:

  • sharing meals, bowls, or utensils with someone who is infected
  • ​breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing
  • ​it is not spread through the air
  • ​the virus is not found in sweat, tears, or urine

People who find out they have Hepatitis B can also keep their families healthy