Possible methods of transmission include:direct contact with infected bloodtransfer from mother to baby during birthbeing pricked with a contaminated needleintimate contact with a person with HBVoral, vaginal, and anal sexusing a razor or any other personal item with remnants ofinfected fluidRISK FACTORSWho is at risk for hepatitis B?Certain groups are at particularly high risk of HBV infection. These include:healthcare workersmen who have sex with other menpeople who use IV drugs
people with multiple sex partnerspeople with chronic liver diseasepeople with kidney diseasepeople over the age of 60 with diabetesthose traveling to countries with a high incidence of HBV infectionADVERTISEMENTSYMPTOMSWhat are the symptoms of hepatitis B?Symptoms of acute hepatitis B may not be apparent for months. However, common symptoms include:fatiguedark urinejoint and muscle painloss of appetitefeverabdominal discomfortweaknessyellowing of the whites of the eyes (sclera) and skin (jaundice)Any symptoms of hepatitis B need urgent evaluation. Symptoms of acute hepatitis B are worse in people over the age of 60. Let your doctor know immediately if you have been exposed to hepatitis B. You may be able to prevent infection.DIAGNOSISHow is hepatitis B diagnosed?Doctors can usually diagnose hepatitis B with blood tests. Screening for hepatitis B may be recommended for individuals who:
have come in contact with someone with hepatitis Bhave traveled to a country where hepatitis B is commonhave been in jailuse IV drugsreceive kidney dialysisare pregnantare men who have sex with menhave HIVTo screen for hepatitis B, your doctor will perform a series of blood tests.Hepatitis B surface antigen testA hepatitis B surface antigen test shows if you’re contagious. Apositive result means you have hepatitis B and can spread the virus. A negative result means you don’t currently have hepatitis B. This test doesn’t distinguish between chronic and acute infection. This test is used together with other hepatitis Btests to determine the state of a hepatitis B infection.Hepatitis B core antigen testThe hepatitis B core antigen test shows whether you’re currently infected with HBV. Positive results usually mean you have acute or chronic hepatitis B. It may also mean you’re recovering from acute hepatitis B.Hepatitis B surface antibody testA hepatitis B surface antibody test is used to check for immunity to HBV. A positive test means you are immune to hepatitis B. There are two possible reasons for a positive test. You may have been vaccinated, or you may have recovered from an acute HBV infection and are no longer contagious.