How To Prevent Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.
Hepatitis B And Your Liver
The liver is such an important organ that we can survive only one or two days if it completely shuts down – if the liver fails, your body will fail, too. Fortunately, the liver can function even when up to 80% of it is diseased or removed. This is because it has the amazing ability to regenerate – or create – itself from healthy liver cells that still exist.
If your body were an automobile, your liver would be considered the engine. It does hundreds of vital things to make sure everything runs smoothly:
- Stores vitamins, sugar and iron to help give your body energy
- Controls the production and removal of cholesterol
- Clears your blood of waste products, drugs and other poisonous substances
- Makes clotting factors to stop excessive bleeding after cuts or injuries
- Produces immune factors and removes bacteria from the bloodstream to combat infection
- Releases a substance called “bile” to help digest food and absorb important nutrients
The word hepatitis actually means inflammation of the liver. Thus, hepatitis B refers to inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. With early detection and appropriate follow-up medical care, people living with a chronic hepatitis B infection can expect to enjoy a long and healthy life.
Counseling Practices That Educate Support And Motivate Clients Undergoing Screening
Clients might need help deciding whether to get screened, understanding the test results, and determining their next steps. Even when services offered through the substance abuse treatment program are limited, discussing testing with clients presents an opportunity for counselors to motivate clients for change by confronting substance use and by making choices that improve their overall health. However, this may also be true when services are offered on-site through substance abuse treatment programs. A study at one methadone clinic that offered hepatitis screening and vaccination revealed that although the majority of clients completed screening , only 54.7 percent of clients who lacked for hepatitis A received vaccinations and only 2.9 percent of clients who lacked immunity for received vaccinations .
The Consensus Panel makes the following general recommendations while recognizing that, in some programs, the counselors role may be limited:
You May Like: Is Viral Hepatitis C Contagious
What Is The Outlook For People With Hepatitis B
The outlook for people with HBV is better now than ever before. You are certainly able to live a full life and help yourself stay healthy. You should make sure to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider who is qualified to treat hepatitis B, possibly a liver doctor.
Make sure you are vaccinated against hepatitis A. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking other medications or over-the-counter products, including supplements and natural products. These could interfere with your medication or damage your liver. For instance, taking acetaminophen in large doses may harm your liver.
Follow the usual guidelines for living a healthy life:
- Eat nutritious foods, choosing from a variety of vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins. It is said that cruciferous vegetables are especially good at protecting the liver.
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont smoke and dont drink. Both tobacco and alcohol are bad for your liver.
- Do things that help you cope with stress, like journaling, talking with others, meditating and doing yoga.
- Avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
For People With Vaginas
It’s important to remember that many STI often have no symptoms. Get tested regularly and before each new sexual partner.
Figure 1. Symptoms map for people with vaginas
- Itchy skin: Genital herpes / pubic lice / scabies
- Pain in your testicles: Chlamydia / gonorrhea
- Warts on penis, scrotum and thighs: HPV
- Itchy and painful blisters on skin/sores: Genital herpes
- Light brown insects or white eggs in the pubic hair, bluish marks on skin: Pubic lice
- Rectal pain and bleeding: Chlamydia / gonorrhea / LGV
- Dark urine or pale stools: HBV and HCV
- Discharge from anal area: Chlamydia / gonorrhea / LGV
- Open sores or chancres on genitals, anus or mouth / throat: LGV / HSV / syphilis
- Painful swollen glands : Genital herpes / HIV / LGV / syphilis
- Burning during urination: Chlamydia / gonorrhea / trichomoniasis
- Discharge from penis: Chlamydia / gonorrhea / trichomoniasis / LGV
- Burning or itching around the opening of penis: Chlamydia / gonorrhea / trichomoniasis
Also Check: Hepatitis C Ab With Reflex To Hcv Pcr
Faqs About Hcv Transmission :
Absolutely. Regardless if you recovered successfully from the virus, the chance of contracting the virus is still high. That is why Those who inject drugs and share needles, syringes, or other drug preparation equipment, as well as those who regularly receive hemodialysis, should be tested for hepatitis C.
Certainly, although it is thought that the rate of infection via sexual intercourse is low. Males who have intercourse with other men, as well as persons who have several sex partners, have a sexually transmitted illness, engage in rough sex, or are HIV-positive, are at higher risk.
Hepatitis C is not transferred within authorized, commercial tattooing establishments, according to research. Hepatitis C can be transmitted in facilities that do not take the required precautions to prevent infection during tattooing or piercing. In jails and other unregulated situations, unregulated tattooing and piercing can put a person in danger of infection.
Where Can I Get A Hepatitis B Test
You can get tested for hepatitis B and other STDs at your doctors office, community health clinic, the health department, or your local Planned Parenthood health center.
Getting tested for STDs can sometimes feel scary, but once you get it over with it can really put your mind at ease. And if you DO have an STD, its best to know sooner so you can get the care you need.
STD testing isnt usually part of your regular checkup or gynecologist exam you have to ask for it directly. Be open and honest with your nurse or doctor so they can help figure out what tests are best for you. Dont be embarrassed: doctors are there to help, not judge.
Its extra important to get tested if youre pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Hepatitis B can easily spread to your baby during birth, which can be dangerous. If you have hepatitis B, your doctor can give your baby treatments.
Read Also: Where Do I Get Hepatitis A Vaccine
What Should You Do If You Think You Have Hep B
If you think you might be at risk for hep B, there are many ways we can help you. We can offer you support, answer questions and help you find health services near you:
- Get a hep B test: Take a look at our NSW Services Directory to find a hep B testing doctor near you.
- Speak to someone:
- call 1800 803 990 to speak confidentially with one of our Hepatitis Infoline workers
- use our online Live Chat, available on every page of our website.
How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of hepatitis B testing depends on the tests that are performed, where the test is conducted, and a patientâs health insurance coverage. When testing is ordered by a doctor, patients with health insurance may find it helpful to discuss the cost of testing with their health insurance company as they may be responsible for testing costs as well as other out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.
For patients without health insurance or for whom insurance doesnât cover the cost of testing, it may be helpful to discuss the cost of hepatitis B testing with a doctor or hospital administrator.
The cost of at-home hepatitis B testing starts around $45. At-home test kits may also test for additional types of viral hepatitis in the same sample. The cost of test panels that look for more than one type of viral hepatitis start around $80.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis B Virus
What Do I Need To Know About Having Hepatitis B
If you have chronic hepatitis B, getting the right medical care can help you stay healthy. Taking good care of your liver is important. Talk with your doctor before you take any prescription medication, over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, or nutritional supplements to make sure they wont hurt your liver. You should also stay away from alcohol, because drinking can damage your liver.
Who Should Be Vaccinated For Hepatitis B
All newborns should be vaccinated. Also, people who are under 18 who were not vaccinated at birth should also get the vaccine. Other groups who should be sure to be vaccinated are those in certain high-risk categories, such as:
- People who have more than one sexual partner.
- Men who have sex with men.
- Adults with diabetes.
- Sexual partners of infected people and people who share households with infected individuals.
- People who are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids, including healthcare and public safety professionals, and people who work in jails and other places taking care of people who cant take care of themselves.
Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Symptoms In Women
Quick Facts On Safer Sex
- Educate yourself and know the risks. All kinds of sex, including oral, vaginal and anal intercourse, and intimate skin-to-skin contact, can transmit infections through body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretions and saliva, as well as through bacteria.
- You and/or your sexual partner may not know that either of you have an STI and won’t know that you may be spreading it.
- Always use condoms and/or dental dams during vaginal, anal or oral sex.
- If you haven’t already, get vaccinated for HPV and hepatitis B.
- Get tested for STI regularly and before each new sexual partner. Request that your partner do the same.
- Remember that you can get some STI by just touching or kissing an infected area.
- Be aware of your situation. You may take unnecessary risks when impaired by drugs or alcohol. Always have a condom or dental dam accessible in case you’re “caught up in the moment.”
- If you use recreational drugs, or get tattoos, be sure that the needles are sterile and haven’t been used by anyone else already.
Text box 26
You matter. Your choices matter. You decide what is right for you.
Hepatitis C Testing And Diagnosis
Hepatitis C is diagnosed using your medical history, a physical examination, and blood testing. Your doctor may order further tests to examine your liver if you have hepatitis C. Doctors will first look for Anti-HCV proteins called antibodies produced by your body when the hepatitis C virus is detected in your bloodstream. They normally appear 12 weeks after the infection has occurred.
Statcare offers full panelSTD testing , hepatitis A and B vaccines, and hepatitis C treatment in all their health care facilities in NYC.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B Core Antibody Test
This test checks whether a person currently has HBV or had it in the past. A positive result means that they have a current or past infection. It can also mean that they are recovering from acute hepatitis B.
Those who receive a positive result should contact a doctor to check the status of their hepatitis B infection.
This product requires finger prick blood collection, and it tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
People can pay a one-time purchase fee or sign up for a subscription plan for regular testing.
Those who purchase this product receive the tools they need for testing. LetsGetChecked recommends that individuals use this test before 10 a.m. It also warns people against having sex if they think they have hepatitis B or C.
Once a person collects their samples, they can mail them to the companys laboratory on the same day.
LetsGetChecked states that its laboratories have a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments certification. This means that it has obtained federal certifications. The company is also part of the College of American Pathologists program.
People should receive their results within 25 days. Additionally, they can contact a LetsGetChecked nurse at any time to discuss their results.
Pros and cons
LetsGetChecked tests come with pros and cons.
Some pros include:
Screening For Hepatitis B & C
NYU Langone doctors provide screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, two forms of hepatitis that can become chronic and lead to serious liver damage without treatment.
Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus. These diseases are contagious and can be spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids such as blood and semen. Hepatitis B and C can also be passed from mother to child during birth.
Hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists at NYU Langone recommend screening for some people who may be at increased risk of becoming infected.
Even though hepatitis B and C may cause no symptoms for years or even decades after infection, the viruses still may damage the liver. For this reason, screening is an important tool for early detection and treatment. It can prevent serious illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and hinder the spread of infection.
Vaccination for hepatitis is also an important prevention tool.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis C
Common And Local Adverse Events
HB vaccine is well tolerated. Reactions are generally mild and transient, and include: irritability, headache, fatigue and injection site reactions in 10% or more of recipients.
There is no increase in adverse events when HAHB vaccine is compared with HA vaccine given alone or concomitantly with HB vaccine at a different injection site. When the adult formulation of HAHB vaccine is given to children in the 2 dose schedule, there is no increase in adverse events compared with those occurring after administration of the pediatric formulation of HAHB vaccine.
Reactions are usually mild and transient, and include fever, irritability, restlessness and injection site reactions .
Headache, diarrhea, fever, urticaria, angioedema and injection site reactions may occur.
Can Hepatitis B Be Treated
If you know you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus in the previous seven days or less, you can receive an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin that may prevent you from developing the disease. Besides this, there is no treatment for acute hepatitis B.
If you have chronic hepatitis B, two types of treatment exist interferon which is a medication administered by a needle, and antiviral medicines that are taken by mouth. Current approved hepatitis B oral medications include lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, tenofovir, and entecavir. These treatments do not provide a cure, but they offer control of the virus so that further damage to your liver can be prevented. When and how to treat your hepatitis B is a decision between you and your doctor. Availability of the medications listed above may vary from province to province based on provincial government drug plans and individual insurance plans.
You May Like: How Does Hepatitis C Affect The Liver
What Are The Symptoms
During the early stages of infection there may not be any symptoms. If symptoms do develop, this is usually within the first six months after infection. Those who do get symptoms may experience:
- flu-like symptoms, such as high temperature, muscle aches and loss of appetite, feeling tired all the time
- yellowing of the eyes and skin
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- sickness and diarrhoea.
Some people clear the virus after this initial stage. However, some people do not clear the virus without treatment and so they will develop a long term infection called chronic hepatitis. This can cause damage to the liver and can lead to liver cancer.
It can take up to 12 weeks for hepatitis B to show up in tests
Hepatitis B Blood Tests
The Hepatitis B Panel of Blood Tests
Only one sample of blood is needed for a hepatitis B blood test, but the Hepatitis B Panel includes three parts. All three test results are needed to fully understand whether a person is infected or not. Below is an explanation of the 3-part Hepatitis B Panel of blood test results.
Read Also: What To Do If You Have Hepatitis C