Frequently Asked Questions About Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis

Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other body fluids. It does not spread by sneezing or coughing. A vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, but there's no cure if you have the condition

How is it transmitted

The most prevalent mode of transmission is through vaginal sex, oral or anal sex or through sharing sex toys with infected persons. It can be transmitted through both heterosexual and homosexual contact.

What are the symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B range from mild to severe. They usually appear about one to four months after you've been infected, although you could see them as early as two weeks post-infection. Some people, usually young children, may not have any symptoms.

Hepatitis B signs and symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain

  • Dark urine

  • Fever

  • Joint pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

How is it treated

No cure has been found for acute Hepatitis yet. However, treatment is done to reduce the amount of the virus in a patient’s body and relieve the inflammation that produces the symptoms. People with chronic hepatitis B may be given antiviral drugs. 

How can I prevent

Just like other infectious diseases, the only sure way to prevent Hepatitis is by avoiding sexual contact with infected persons.

One can, however, reduce the risk of infection by:

  • Use of male or female condoms during any act of sexual encounter.

  • Avoiding sharing of sex toys.

  • Performing safe oral sex by use of a dental dam.

What to do if diagnosed

If you are in doubt with your sex partner, and you suspect you have Hepatitis, it's important to visit a health clinic to have the test performed on you. The severity of the diseases is usually lower when the symptoms are treated at an early stage.

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