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What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a virus that can get into your liver. It can sometimes be called Hep B. Hepatitis B can be prevented through a vaccination (given in the arm by a needle). 

Are there any symptoms?

You may not notice any symptoms. Or you might notice some symptoms that go away after a couple of weeks. If you have symptoms, it might feel like you have the flu. You might also feel sick or vomit. You may not feel like eating, have aches and pains or be really tired all the time. You may also notice that your urine is dark and your skin and eyes may look a bit yellow. This is called jaundice.

How do you catch it?

You can catch Hepatitis B through sex without a condom or through blood-to-blood contact with someone who has it. This can be through sharing needles or other injecting equipment. Did you know you may also be infected by sharing toothbrushes, razors, sex toys and anything else that might have blood on it? So make sure you don’t share any of these things. Remember, you can’t get Hepatitis B by touching, hugging, kissing, or sharing food with someone who has it. 

What about Prevention? Testing? Treatment?

  • Use a condom when having oral, vaginal or anal sex to stop you catching or passing on  Hepatitis B.

  • Make sure you don’t share any injecting equipment. 

  • And remember don’t share razors, toothbrushes or sex toys.

  • Don’t have oral sex if you or your partner has their period, has gum disease, herpes, cold sores or cuts. This will reduce the risk of blood-to- blood contact. 

  • You can stop Hepatitis B from spreading by getting a vaccine from your doctor. 

Make sure you get sexual health check-ups at your doctor to find out if you have Hepatitis B.

You can get tested for hepatitis B by a blood test from your doctor. This will show if you have it. If you’ve been exposed to Hepatitis B, see your doctor straight away. You can get an injection (needle) that might stop you from getting it. If you have Hepatitis B, there are pills (medication) you can take. Talk to your doctor.

It’s also important to talk to your doctor about who you may need to get in touch with, so they can be tested and treated too. This is called contact tracing. And make sure you get regular sexual health check-ups.