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    DSHS HIV/STD Program

    Post Office Box 149347, MC 1873
    Austin, Texas 78714

    Phone: (512) 533-3000

    DSHS strives to respond to all email requests in a timely manner. It is important to note, however, that messages that you send to us by email may not be secure and may be intercepted by a third party. Therefore, we recommend that you do not send any confidential health information to us by email.

Hepatitis B

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Hepatitis B

Transmission

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted from person to person through sexual contact, shared needles and needle-sharing equipment known as “works,” health care/occupational exposure and exposure to infected blood through a cut or break in the skin. HBV is found in semen, vaginal secretions and blood. HBV is approximately 100 times easier to get than HIV, although both viruses are found in similar body fluids. HBV can also be passed to a baby during pregnancy or delivery.

Incubation

Six to twenty five weeks although average is eight to twelve weeks.

Typical Symptoms

Many infected people have no symptoms (especially young children). Some people have mild flu-like symptoms, dark urine, light stools, jaundice, fatigue, and fever.

Diagnosis

Blood test.

Treatment

This is no cure for HBV. Most persons will recover without medical treatment. There is treatment available for persons who are unable to clear HBV on their own. A balanced diet and exercise are also helpful in fighting the infection. Refraining from alcohol is critical. The combination of alcohol and HBV accelerates the progression of liver disease.

Prevention

Avoid unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex and sharing needles and "works." Do not share personal items which may be contaminated with body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal secretions) known to contain the virus (i.e. razors and toothbrushes). A safe and effective vaccine is available for HBV.

Danger

The virus causes liver cell damage and inflammation possibly leading to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer and ultimately liver failure.

Recovery

Most adults will recover from HBV within six months and will be immune to HBV in the future. Children, especially infants, are more likely to develop chronic HBV.

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Hepatitis B Resources

Hepatitis B information from the Infectious Disease Control Unit at DSHS

Hepatitis B information from the CDC [CDC]

Hepatitis Resources (PDF : 250 kb)

World Hepatitis Day Presentations

American Liver Foundation [ALF]

     
Hepatitis B Materials
11-11444
Hepatitis B Vaccine Can Save Your Baby's Life
(PDF : 831 kb)
(DSHS Brochure 11-11444)

59-12547
Protect Babies from Hepatitis B for Life
(PDF : 289 kb)
(DSHS Brochure 59-12547)

TestingandPregnancy
HIV, Syphilis and HBV Testing and Pregnancy: State Requirements for Texas Clinicians
(PDF : 156 kb)
(DSHS Fact Sheet E13-13263)

       
 

 

   


Last updated June 12, 2013