Hep B Blog

Newly Diagnosed with Hepatitis B? How Did I Get this? Learning the HBV Basics, Transmission – Part I

If you have just been diagnosed with hepatitis B virus (HBV) then you need to understand how HBV is transmitted. This is the case whether you are acutely or chronically infected.  You must understand you are infectious at this time and can transmit the virus to others.

How is hepatitis B transmitted? Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and infected body fluids. This can happen through direct blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex, unsterile needles and unsterile medical or dental equipment, and from an infected mother to her baby.  For kids, pediatric experts report that the fluid that oozes from cuts and open sores is also highly infectious. HBV can also be transmitted inadvertently by the sharing of personal items such as razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, and other personal items that may have trace amounts of blood on them.

HBV is not transmitted casually by sneezing or coughing, shaking hands or sharing or preparing a meal. In fact it is not contracted during most of life’s daily activities. Hugging or even kissing won’t cause infection unless there are bleeding gums or open sores during the exchange. It’s really all about trace amounts of infected blood, though the virus is in other bodily fluids in lower concentrations.  For example, it’s not about the saliva on the toothbrush that is a big concern, but rather the potential for trace amounts of blood that could be exchanged with a shared toothbrush.

How did I get this? If you have been diagnosed with hepatitis B virus you are likely racking your brain trying to figure out how you could have gotten HBV. Some can immediately track their likely exposure to a recent event, or perhaps a time period in their life where they were more likely to have been exposed. They may fit into an at-risk category for hepatitis B due to lifestyle choices, country of origin, frequent travel and exposure in endemic areas of the world, high risk employment, or unsafe blood or medical or dental procedures without adequate infection control. (Sadly, this is common in many parts of our world, but accidents can happen anywhere).

Since HBV is a silent infection there can be years before it is detected.  Many individuals born in endemic parts of the globe find out later in life that they are hepatitis B positive, even though they have likely had HBV since birth or early-childhood. Children are especially vulnerable to chronic HBV. 90% of babies and up to 50% of young children infected with HBV will remain chronic, and most will have no symptoms.  Often it remains undetected until it is caught in routine blood work or later in life when there may be liver disease progression. In Asia, vertical transmission from mother to child is very common; whereas in Africa, horizontal transmission at a young age is often the culprit.

Although not casually transmitted, there are inadvertent opportunities for exposure to hepatitis B. If you are from an area where HBV is very common, then the odds of exposure, transmission, and infection will be higher. If you do, or have participated in high-risk activities at some point in your life, you are also at greater risk. People are often quick to point out that they have never injected drugs or participated in more obvious high-risk activities, but let’s face it – multiple sex partners? Certainly sexual experimentation in college or early adulthood is not that unique. Things happen, people change, or sometimes they don’t. This isn’t a time for judging, it’s a reflection of what happened yesterday or 20 years ago that may have exposed you to HBV and resulted in infection.  That being said, unless it happened just recently and you can definitively identify your exposure, I would advise that you let it go and move forward. I spent a number of years wondering about the details of my daughter’s infection, but ultimately, it really doesn’t matter.

Time to move forward.

The next step – preventing transmission to others, Part II

Comments on this blog are closed. If you have questions about hepatitis B or this blog post, please email info@hepb.org or call 215-489-4900.

164 thoughts on “Newly Diagnosed with Hepatitis B? How Did I Get this? Learning the HBV Basics, Transmission – Part I”

  1. It really doesn’t matter how you got your problem but the most important thing is indeed to move on as such regrets can not take away the virus. I got it from a dental clinic and many people advised me to sue them but i said that cant take back my normal health that I have enjoyed all along so why bother other than gather strength and move on.
    Most times, a lot of people do not realize how big the scar is when you bring regrets in your life and the potential of suffering psychologically are very damaging to say the least and that can in turn affect the same health that your body require to deal with your current problem; so yes, just move on.

      1. Hello: There is no cure yet for hepatitis B, however there are two very effective antivirals –- tenofovir (Viread) and entecavir -– that quickly reduce your viral load (HBV DNA) and your risk of liver damage. How much these drugs cost vary widely and depend on where you live and what type of health insurance you have. Please talk to your doctor and pharmacist for more information.
        Most people with hepatitis B live long and healthy lives, especially if they avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Live a healthy lifestyle, get monitored and you can live a full life. Good luck.

        1. I have been new diagnosed with hepatitis B and I do confused and have been sad please can I get help

          1. Hell0: I am sorry to hear about your hepatitis B, I know this is a difficult time, but please believe many people with hepatitis B live long and healthy lives, especially if you take care of yourself and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
            When we are infected with the hepatitis B virus, we test positive or reactive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Another of the viral antigens that labs test for is the hepatitis B “e” antigen.
            As our immune systems start to fight the infection, they produce antibodies to eradicate or get rid of the hepatitis B antigens. It’s a good sign to test negative for the hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg). It can mean your viral load is low.
            Is this the first time you have been tested for hepatitis B? To know if you were recently infected and have a short-term “acute” infection, you need to be tested again in six months.
            When healthy adults are infected, it takes about six months for their immune systems to get rid of the infection. The last hepatitis B “antigen” to disappear is the surface antigen (HBsAg). Having a low number of HBsAg is good.
            When newborns or children are infected, their immature immune systems don’t recognize and fight the infection and it can become chronic and last for many years.
            Keep in mind that not everyone with hepatitis B requires treatment, many people live long and healthy lives with hepatitis B. Generally, medical guidelines recommend treatment if you are experiencing liver damage. This is indicated by an ultrasound and a simple blood test for the liver enzyme ALT (also called SGPT). Our liver cells release ALT when they are damaged or die. Healthy ALT levels for men are up to 30, and for women they are up to 19. Please consult with your doctor and see what your ALT levels are to determine if you require treatment.
            Good luck.

  2. My boyfriend wont have sex with me, because sometimes i bleed durring intercourse. I do NOT have hepititis, but he has convinced himself that he can contract the viris because I bleed.
    I told him that he can only get it from infected blood, however he has convinced himself that he is showing symptoms.
    Who is right? Can he, infact, catch it from my blood even though i do not have the virus??

    1. If you are not infected with the HBV virus, you cannot transmit the HBV virus. HBV is transmitted through direct contact with INFECTED blood and body fluids. It is a sexually transmitted disease, but you still have to have the disease to transmit it. Perhaps you should both be tested for HBV and STDs and start fresh. If your boyfriend is concerned about getting HBV – not from you, but in general, then please suggest that he is vaccinated to protect against hepatitis B. We are very fortunate to have a safe and effective HBV vaccine.

  3. Can your partner or x partner find out they have hepatitis b and book an appointment for you without you knowing? Basically I have a letter through saying missed appointment for ‘hepatitis b update’ although I live no where near hospital and haven’t booked it…

    1. I don’t have the answer to this question. However, if you have HBV, I would encourage you to be seen by a liver specialist to learn more about your HBV and liver health.

      1. Hi good day, Once you are “Re-active” result on Hepa B, is that forever reactive? Or it will Non-reactive sometimes??

        Thank you

        1. Hello: When you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG), it means you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Most healthy adults who are infected are able to get rid of the virus on their own within six months. This is called an acute infection.
          However, if you continue to test positive for HBsAg for longer than six months, it is considered a chronic infection. It means you were probably infected at birth or during early childhood, when your immature immune system could not fight it.
          Knowing whether your hepatitis B is acute or chronic will help you and your doctor determine your next steps. Please get tested again in six months to find out if it’s chronic or acute. If you are unsure of what your blood test results mean, please visit: http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/hbv-blood-tests/
          Good luck.

    1. Oral sex should be much less of a risk but of course there is always the possibility of transmission with infected fluids. Keep in mind that things like bleeding gums and mouth sore greatly increase the risk of transmission.

  4. I was recently told that sometime in the past I had contracted HBV but my system has since cleared it and I am no longer infected. My doctor assured me that I am also not a carrier of HBV. I have never had any illnesses that would lead me to think of when I could have possibly contracted it, and I honestly had no idea that I had even had it. I am really at a loss! Needless to say, this came as a shock. My doctor reassured me that I do not need to worry about my husband or children, is she right? There is no telling when I could have been infected and it makes me wonder.

    1. You were most likely infected at an age when you were able to readily clear the virus. Many people have no idea how they were infected and cannot trace their infection to a particular exposure. Most people acutely infected have no notable symptoms, so it often goes unnoticed and is found with routine testing or after when trying to donate blood. So if you are HBsAg neg, HBcAb pos and HBsAb pos, then you are not a carrier and do not need to worry about HBV. Since it is unclear when you were infected, it probably wouldn’t hurt to have your husband and children tested. Most likely they are fine, but why not have them tested for peace of mind? If they have not already been vaccinated, be sure to have them discuss HBV vaccination with the doctor after they are tested.

  5. I’ve recently been diagnosed with hep b. I had no idea I had it since I don’t show symptoms . My boyfriend and I been having unprotected sex. As soon I’ve found out I got Hepburn I told him to get tested. Thank God he doesn’t have it, I don’t know if he had it and it already cleared on its own
    My question is I have it he doesn’t and we had unprotected sex
    So should he be vaccinated ?

    1. I would suggest that he ask his doctor for a hepatitis B panel – one blood test returning 3 test results: HBsAg, HBcAb total, HBsAb. These 3 results can tell you if he has a current HBV infection or if he has resolved a past HBV infection and has immunity or if he has immunity as a result of response to vaccination. If he does not have a current infection or does not show proof of immunity, then he should be vaccinated. It sounds like you may be in an inactive phase of the virus at this time, but things can change over time and he should be protected in case they do. Plus there are other risks, so it is good for him to be vaccinated regardless.

  6. Hi there, my partner who is 56 was recently diagnosed with acute Hep B in his routine bloodwork tests. It doesn’t appear to be chronic and the doctor is not overly concerned what is going in for more testing. From what I’m reading online it looks like he was exposed to the virus in the last six months. is there a chance he could’ve been exposed years ago and it’s just showing up now, although he’s never had any thing show up in the past- until now. This is all brand-new. Thank u

    1. Hello:
      Hello: To determine if he has a chronic (long-term) or acute (short-term) infection, he will have to be tested over a six-month period. If you test positive (reactive) for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) for longer than six months, it means you may have been infected when you were a baby or child, and your immature immune didn’t notice or fight the virus and you developed a chronic infection. Some adults with compromised or weak immune systems can also develop a chronic infection, but most healthy adults are able to clear the virus within a few weeks or months.
      It is important that the doctor continue to monitor your partner, and also check his liver enzymes (ALT or SGPT) to make sure the infection is not harming his liver. Hopefully he’ll be back for more tests within a few weeks or months.
      Good luck.

  7. hello, I was diagnosed with hep b a year ago and i recently did my test, the following are my results and my Doctor has prescribed Amfier syrup, code liver oil, ciprochem, vitamine B 12 and other supplement tablets that he said would help me build my antibodies against the virus. for the past 6 months i have consistently followed these descriptions but things still seemed blur, no improvement.
    see below my profile:
    HBsAg positive
    HbsAb Negative
    HbeAg Negative
    HbeAb Negative
    HbcAb negative

    at the moment, my key symptoms are weight loss, tiredness, lack of sleep and loss of appetite. I really want to overcome this madness and make it a history. Am I in this instanc case acutely infected? what can i do to regain my weight and to sleep sound.

    I need your help, please! I need a prescription in addition to the one my doctor has provided. I am from Africa, where quality treatment is piecemeal and largely skewed for the privileged. I await your reply.

    1. Hello: I am sorry your hepatitis B is causing you such anxiety. I am a little confused by your results, but if you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) it means you are infected. Your doctor has prescribed vitamins and herbal supplements, which cannot cure your hepatitis B. Have you had an ALT/SGPT test? This is an important test because it shows if the virus is harming your liver. When liver cells are damaged by infection, they release an enzyme called ALT or SGPT in your blood. A blood test checks these levels, and if they are above normal (which is more than about 30 for men) it means the virus may be damaging your liver.
      One of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat well, and avoid cigarettes and alcohol. Many people live long and healthy lives with hepatitis B. Don’t let your worry about it ruin the quality of your life. Good luck.

  8. Hi, I have been a nanny for a family for 3 years. I love the kids and take care of their every need. Last week the Mom found out she and 1 of the kids has chronic hepatitis b. I am confused since I thought that kids get vaccinated when they are little. I got tested and my results came back positive for chronic hepatitis b. I have been married for 17 years and last year both my husband and I donated blood. The mom thinks that she is the source of the infection. I spend all my time there with the kids so I’m pretty sure I got it from the little one. I am devastated and haven’t even told my husband yet. I have been locking myself in the bathroom crying since I found out. I can’t seem to function and I’m even afraid for my kids to be near me . I don’t know what this means for my quality of life and I’m really scared. please help.

    1. Hello: I am so sorry to hear about your situation. Let me respond to each question:
      1. The child’s infection: It is common for infected women to transmit the virus/infection to their newborn because of the baby’s exposure to infectious blood and body fluids during delivery. If the baby is immunized within 12 hours of birth, they are usually protected against infection. However, if the vaccination is delayed or if the mother has a very high viral load (with lots of virus in her blood), the vaccination may not protect the child. This may have happened in this case.
      2. Your positive test: When healthy adults are infected with hepatitis B–in your case perhaps you were exposed to the baby’s blood or body fluids somehow–their immune systems are usually able to clear the infection over several weeks or months 90 percent of the time. If this was your first hepatitis B test (for the hepatitis B surface antigen – HBsAg – and surface antibody), you should return in six months and get tested again. You may find that your immune system has cleared the infection and you now test positive for the hepatitis B surface antibody, which indicates you have beat hepatitis B.
      When babies are exposed to hepatitis B, their immature immune systems don’t recognize or fight the virus, so they develop a chronic or long-term infection. Unfortunately, this can result in chronically infected mothers unknowingly infecting their newborns, unless the hepatitis B vaccine is immediately administered within 12 hours of birth to break this infection cycle.
      If you are testing positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen now, you could transmit it to your husband through sex or exposure to blood. He should be tested for hepatitis B and immediately vaccinated if he has not been exposed. Meanwhile, you should practice safe sex (use a condom) until he has been immunized with all three shots over a six-month period. Good luck.

  9. I was positive for Hep B a week ago…. However with my issue it is quiet different… In September 2015 my fiancé and Inseperated and I went through horrible depression… I attempted suicide by having someone shoot me up with heroine for the first time in my life… Needless to say my attempt did not work…. We had reconciled our differences a cpl weeks later and in the end of October I was given blood work from hep A down to HIV… Told my doc everything…. To say the least my results were negative across the board for all diseases… I moved to Illinois…. A week after my results….. My fiancé followed 3 weeks later while I was trying to find a home for us and our children… I have not used any drugs by needle or been sexually involved with anyone in 6 years that we have been together…. Is there anyway to know if I actually had hep B during my testing in October? And also is there anyway to know if it was given to me…. I do have acute hep B but I also have CHRONIC ITP and lost my spleen in 1988. My fiancé has no symptoms however mine came on all at once and had me admitted in the hospital after one week…. Everybody says no to worry how you contact it however my family is under the belief that I have cheated or shot up (believe me I am no DIRTY JUNKY n my one time was a shisty suicide attempt and I am more in LOVE WITH THE WOMAN I HAVE DEVOTED MY LIFE TO) , so everyone has turned their back on me and my fiancé even ended our relationship… Is there anything I can do to know if she had given it to me?

    1. Hello: It can take several weeks after exposure to hepatitis B for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) to increase in number so that it can be identified in a blood test. So, it is possible you were exposed to hepatitis B during your suicide attempt through the heroin injection, but the lab test that was conducted two or three weeks later would have failed to pick it up. Also, your acute hepatitis B symptoms would also have taken some days or weeks to appear and require your hospitalization. Please take one day at a time and work to rebuild your life. You will get your family’s trust back. Good luck.

  10. I got a ton of blood-work about 2 weeks ago for my auto immune disease Sjogrens and Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was having terrible flu like symptoms and fatigue. One of the blood tests performed was for HepB and it said I am not immune to it and was highlighted in red. After panic, I gooogle searched and it appears that means I do have Hep-B. I do not fall into the high risk areas AT ALL. Well for the past 11 years anyways. How could I have gotten it? Could I have contracted the virus and it be “dormant” for 15-25+ years and now flare up? I did go to a “cheap” dentist for crown work just about 4-5 months ago. I know the blog says not to fixate on how I got it but to manage having it. I haven’t even had my dr follow up from the blood-work yet. Do I ask previous last sex partner from 12 years ago if he has? What about my grown kids? If I was a carrier long ago. sorry for all the questions

    1. Hello: The test result you reported is for the hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb). When we are vaccinated against hepatitis B, we are injected with just one protein or antigen from the virus, called the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The vaccine spurs our immune system to protect surface antibodies that protect us from an actual infection. This test result shows you currently do not have enough antibodies to make protect you or make you “immune” from hepatitis B. When we’re infected with the hepatitis B virus, we test positive for HBsAg but we test negative for surface antibodies. You need additional tests to find out if you are currently infected, or whether you need to be immunized.
      Many people have had hepatitis B transmitted from sexual partners, or they may have caught it at birth if their mother was infected. It rarely causes symptoms so about 65% of people currently infected with hepatitis B don’t even know they’re infected. Get additional test, and good luck.

  11. Am Anthony, am newly married. Well I tested for Hep B when I was advice to do so and I complied my self and my wife too. I was positive but my wife was negative.
    Moreover, we want to have children because we love each other and we have both not had sex before, we have also not engaged in anything that can cause endangerment to our health to contract this form of virus.
    Please is it possible for us to have children and how is our Children’s future health going to be life since I the father is contracted, if the child bearing is possible.

    1. Hello: Yes, you can have children if you have hepatitis B. But there are some important steps to take to make sure your partner and your future children do not become infected.
      Before you marry or have sexual relations, you must make sure your partner is vaccinated against hepatitis B and has enough hepatitis B antibodies to protect them against infection.
      Have your wife go to a doctor and get screened for hepatitis B. I know she doesn’t test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which indicates an existing infection, but she should also get tested for the hepatitis B surface antibody. If she tests positive for this antibody, it means she was infected in the past and cleared the infection. In this case, she does not need to be vaccinated. However, if she tests negative for the surface antibody, she should immediately get the three shots of the vaccine. The second shot is given 30 days after the first, and the third shot is given six months after the first shot.
      About one or two months after the third vaccine shot, have your partner screened for hepatitis B antibodies/titers. The number of antibodies should be more than 10 mIU/mL. That means they have enough antibodies to fight off infection.
      Until you are certain she has enough antibodies to fully protect her from hepatitis B, you must practice safe sex and use a condom.
      I hope you are getting monitored regularly for your hepatitis B, to make sure it is not causing any liver damage. Also, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.
      Good luck and congratulations.

  12. Hi, I would like to thank you on your response and assistance to our questions. Well, I read on the page and I wany to know if you are sure of some of the information provide because, some doctors and nurses state otherwise.
    The issue is are you much sure that one can not contract hepatitis through saliva, sweet, towels, etc. and why are most doctors say one can contract the virus through the following and even more.?

    1. Hello: Hepatitis B is a confusing infection and some healthcare providers may not be up to date. Only blood and body fluids such as semen or seepage from wounds, carry the virus. According to the U.S. CDC, your perspiration, tears and saliva do not spread the virus unless there is blood mixed in with the saliva from a mouth wound. Good luck.

  13. my mom diagnosed with chronic hepatitis b ..once she used my toothbrush mistakenly n latter i used it..so is there any chance for me to get infected? please sugest

    1. Hello: While sharing a toothbrush is not recommended, the risk is low, depending on her viral load. What is more important, if your mother has hepatitis B there is a chance you were infected at birth. Please get tested for hepatitis B and get vaccinated if you are at risk of infection. Good luck.

  14. My husband is currently being tested for Hep. We have been married for 10 years. I have been vaccinated. I am so scared that this means he was unfaithful. I’m reading up on all I can, and a lot of places say not to be concerned so much with how but what’s next, but I can’t help it. So, my question is can the virus be “dormant” for a longer period of time before it shows on a blood test? I know I’m reaching for reasons…

    1. Hello: Is this the first time he has been tested for hepatitis B? There are two types of hepatitis B infection. When a healthy adult is infected, generally they have a short-term or acute infection, lasting about six months, while their immune systems attack and clear the infection. When newborns (born to infected women) or young children are infected, their immature immune systems don’t recognize and fight the infection and it can become chronic or long-term. Over the course of a chronic infection, a person’s viral load can vary, as can how active the infection is and whether it is actively damaging the liver. Hepatitis B is called the silent infection because it rarely causes any symptoms. In fact, nearly two-thirds of people who have chronic hepatitis B do not know they’re infected. To know if this is a recent, acute infection, he needs to be tested over a six-month period. If he continues to test positive beyond six months for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), it means he may have been infected during early childhood, and this is one of many previously undiagnosed hepatitis B infections. I am happy to hear you are immunized. Good luck.

      1. I need some answers for my peace of mind. Five years ago I have been diagnosed with hep b , carrier, not infectious. So basically chronic hepatitis. I just had another blood test and it came as I am now infectious. I have had the same partner for the last 7 years, he was checked when I was diagnosed and he was not infected. He didn’t have his vaccine. My question is could he be the one that got infected from someone else and he has ireactivated mine ? This thought doesn’t give me peace

        1. Hello: Over the course of hepatitis B, our immune system can for a time successfully suppress the virus and reduce the hepatitis B virus to low or even undetectable levels. But, if we are experiencing other health or medical problems or are simply getting older, our viral load (HBV DNA) can start to increase and even start causing liver damage. This is indicated by an ultrasound and a simple blood test for the liver enzyme ALT (also called SGPT). Our liver cells release ALT when they are damaged or die. Healthy ALT levels for men are up to 30, and for women they are up to 19. Please consult with your doctor and see what your ALT levels are to determine if you require treatment, and discuss what factors might be causing a reactivation at this time. Good luck.

          If you have had hepatitis B for several years, getting re-infected from your spouse would not cause a reactivation, because the virus is already present.

          Your husband should have been vaccinated as soon as your infection was identified. Otherwise, he remains at risk of infection.

  15. Hello,

    So I had sex with an escort exactly 3 months ago, I used a condom but I’m worried I may have still contracted the virus as we had also kissed. I’m noticing symptoms such as weight loss, fatigue somewhat and also I’m noticing white dots in my stool which is worrying me a lot. Also just to clarify if I got HBV from this girl would it be acute or chronic hepatitis and could it be cured or go away. Thanks

    1. Hello: Kissing does not spread hepatitis B, and I am happy to hear you used a condom. The best protection against hepatitis B is safe and effective vaccination. Your symptoms do not sound typical of hepatitis B, however if you are concerned, please see your doctor and get tested and vaccinated. Good luck.

  16. please we just found out recently that my cousin is having hepatitis B,please I want to know if a person can get infected through sharing of drinks.

    1. Hello: Kissing, hugging and sharing drinks and food does not spread hepatitis B. The best protection against hepatitis B is safe and effective vaccination. Please get immunized so you don’t have to worry. Good luck.

  17. I recently gave blood, and today I got a paper in the mail saying I tested positive for hep b. Six months ago I also donated, but I did not test positive. I have been with the same partner for a year now, so how could I have contracted this?

    1. Hello: If you were recently infected, it can take several weeks for the virus to replicate enough that a lab test (at the blood bank) to identify the presence of the hepatitis B virus.
      When healthy adults are infected, it can take about six months for their immune systems to clear the infection. Please get tested again in six months, and also make sure your partner is tested soon.
      Hepatitis B rarely causes symptoms (which is why it’s called the silent infection). Unless your boyfriend is infected, it may be impossible to determine when you were infected.
      Good luck.

  18. I have my blood result as following :
    ALT: 45
    GGT:45

    HEP B SURFACE ANTIGEN : reactive
    HsAg :positive
    HEP B CORE IgM :negative
    HEP B CORE TOTAL ANTIBODIES : negative

    Hep c antibodies : negative

    Any explanation please

      1. Many people are unsure how they are infected. Sometimes it’s impossible to know. I know this can be very unsettling, but what you want to focus on is moving forward. Learn more about your HBV. Consider your lifestyle and whether or not you can make healthier choices for your liver and general health. I would encourage you to talk to your doctor to learn a bit more about your HBV to determine your next steps.

    1. According to your test results, you have a chronic infection. Your ALT is a bit elevated at 45. Normal levels are 30 or less for men and 19 or less for women. You don’t mention if you are HBeAg positive or negative or your viral load. I would encourage you to talk to your doctor to learn more about your HBV.

  19. Hep B sur Ag. Nonreactive
    Hep B sur Ab Reactive
    Hep B surface Ab titers 130.21
    Hep B core Ab. Reactive A
    Hep ab core igm Nonreactive
    Please can you interpret this for me .i took the test in June .thank you

    1. Hello: At some point in the past, you were infected with hepatitis B, this is indicated by your positive or reactive test for the hepatitis B core antibody. The good news is your immune system cleared away the infection, and now you are protected against any future infection by your hepatitis B surface antibody. Good luck.

  20. Good Afternoon!My partner just got tested for hepatitis B virus and he was positive. I also got tested and I was negative. However, I had my complete hepatitis B vaccine schedule( 3 shots ) four years ago. Now that he tested positive for HepB and I am negative, do I need to get another shot of Hepatitis B vaccine? Also, we are planning to have babies by January, 2017, is it safe to go ahead? Can I continue to have sexual intercourse with him without condoms for the rest of my live with him? What are the safety precautions for the two of us as I have decided to still get married to him. I love him and I am not going to leave him. Thanks

    1. Hello: Once you are immunized against hepatitis B, you are forever protected against infection. You have nothing to fear from his hepatitis B infection. When you have children, make sure they are immediately vaccinated against hepatitis B. You have nothing to worry about, congratulations and good luck.

      1. Please how can I remove my name. I dont like the way it is showing. I prefer to use ATI. Thanks for your reply too!

        1. Hello: I cannot change how it appears on the website. If you wish, we can delete your comments. Thank you.

  21. I was tested positive 3 weeks ago. My wife is negative and the doctor advice she get vaccinated and she has started. My 2 kids were vaccinated but we have not tested them. My AST IS 21 and my ALT is 14. Please does this mean I have acute or chronic infection. The doctor said maybe my viral load is low which explains why my wife did not contact it. Please interpret the liver test for me. Thank you very much

    1. Hello: The only way to tell if you have an acute or chronic infection is to get tested again in six months. When healthy adults are infected, they generally experience an acute infection, and their immune systems are able to clear the virus within six months. When newborns or children are infected, their immune systems don’t recognize the virus and the infection becomes chronic and can last many years. Please get tested again in six months to find out if you are still infected. Meanwhile, please avoid alcohol and cigarettes, and practice safe sex until your wife completes the three-shot vaccine series. If you continue to be infected, your wife should get tested about one or two months after her third vaccine shot to make sure she has enough antibodies to protect her from infection. Good luck.

  22. i was to my medical test for my visa purpose, i was bloody shocked hearing this have inactive hepatitis B, i was like HOWW IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE, ok i have gone through all the causes who could to HBV, but i never had sex, never took a needle, never shared anything, what so ever its i am not in that picture at all, can you please help me out, what would be the cause, or you say me to run the blood test again, because i am sure i cant be affected by this, please help me out.

    1. Hello: Many people infected with hepatitis B never know how they became infected. Often, our mothers were infected and we were not vaccinated at birth, which stops the spread of mother-to-child infection. Perhaps we received an injection with a syringe that was re-used or improperly sterilized. I am sorry you are infected, continue to find out as much as you can about the infection, and be sure to get tested again in six months. When healthy adults are infected, most are able to clear the infection on their own within six months. Good luck.

  23. Hi.Would like to ask, if an infected person with hep b were to swim in a public pool -will the people swimming in it get infected too? Also, Is there a risk in getting hep b if by chance a person accidentally drink the pool water where the infected person is swimmin in? How about if the person has cuts or wound and the blood got mixed-up in the pool water?Thank you in advnce ^^.

    1. Hello: Hepatitis B is spread only through direct contact with infectious blood and body fluids, such as during unprotected sex or during childbirth. Nearly all pools are treated with a chlorine solution that effectively kills virus and bacteria, so there is no risk of catching hepatitis B from a swimming pool. Good luck.

  24. My husband and I just found that’ we both have hepatitis b my question is do we need to have protected sex now that we are already infected?because we need to have children what can we do?thanks

    1. Hello: Because you are both infected, it is OK to have unprotected sex. However, both of you must continue to get monitored and get your liver enzymes check to make sure the infection is not harming your liver.
      Also important, when you become pregnant, it is critical that your newborn is vaccinated with the first hepatitis B vaccine dose within 12 hours of birth and is also given a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B antibodies), otherwise the baby runs a very high risk of becoming infected because of exposure to your blood and body fluids during delivery. Then make sure the baby is vaccinated with the other two vaccine doses on schedule. Good luck.

  25. Hi!
    I was just diagnosed reactive to help B at 26 weeks pregnant. On my previos blood work at 12 weeks I was completely clear from anything. My husband just got tested but will not know the results until next week. Of curse I am freaking out for various reasons. 1st, for the health of our unborn child; we where planing for a completely natural vaginal birth. Do you think there is lesser of a chance of the baby contracting hepatitis b if we have a c-secession? Yes, we are aware of having to immunize the baby within 12 hours of the birth. 2nd, I am assuming my husband is also positive considering that we do have unprotected sex; I know we have to wait for the results of his testing, but it is mind boggling to me of how I might have caught it and I desperately want to believe he has been faithful this entire time (you can see how I could rationalize this into the contrary). 3rd, I am concerned for my bonus daughter’s health and the precautions I should be taking while I am with her (she is almost 5); my husband tells me she was immunized when she was a baby. And lastly, other than through birth of an infected mother and sexual transmision ( I / we are not at all part of the high risk group) what would be the other lesser expected ways of contracting hepatitis B?

    Thank you

    1. Hello: I am sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. If you were newly infected, it can take a few weeks for lab tests to identify a hepatitis B infection. And, if you have been infected since childhood, you may have had a period of very low or undetectable levels of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and now, into your late pregnancy, your HBsAg levels may have risen because of the stress of the pregnancy on your immune system.
      All of this will be clarified over the next six months. If it’s a chronic infection, you will continue to test positive for HBsAg. If this is a new infection, in most cases a healthy adult is able to clear the infection completely within six months.
      As you know, it’s imperative that your newborn is vaccinated within 12 hours of birth and given a dose of HBIG. I recommend that your older also get tested for hepatitis B surface antigens and antibodies to make sure she is protected by immunization.
      Your husband’s tests and your own over the next few months may help clarify how you became infected, but in some cases medical procedures with reused or improperly sterilized equipment has spread this infection, in addition to sex and other modes.
      Good luck, please contact us at info@hepb.org if you have additional questions.

  26. my boyfriend is hep.B and C reactive as he was a drug addict. we had unprotected sex after often 2 – 3 months.i wana ask is there any chance of myself to be effected

    1. Hello: Unfortunately yes, direct exposure to blood and body fluids, such as semen, that contain the hepatitis B and C viruses puts you at risk of infection. Hepatitis B especially is easily transmitted through unprotected sex. Please go and see your doctor or a clinic and explain that you have been exposed to both viruses and to get tested for both, and get immediately vaccinated against hepatitis B. There is no vaccination against hepatitis C. Please, start using condoms and barriers during sex. These are serious, life-threatening infections. Please do not put yourself at risk, he does not have your best interests at heart if he is putting you at risk like this. Good luck. Please get tested!!!

  27. Recently my doctor identified that I am hbsag positive. Test result Hbsag – 2214, ALT (SGPT) – 629. Now I am taking medicine – Tenofovir Disoproxil Fumarate 300 mg. After taking 12 days medicine my ALT (SGPT) is 431 and I have already loss 3 kgs weight by exercise.
    My wife is Hbsag negative and taken Hbsag vaccination. Please advice my bellow question:
    1. Have any risk for my wife if We sex without condom or deep kiss or oral sex?
    2. My ALT (SGPT) reducing ratio is enough good for me?
    3. Can I expect advice from you asap.
    Please advice me urgently.

    1. Hello: Your liver enzymes (ALT/SGPT) are very high. You may be newly infected with hepatitis B and your immune system is working hard to fight the infected liver cells. When our liver cells are damaged — in this case by our own immune system — it causes them to release the enzyme ALT into the bloodstream. I hope you are getting monitored regularly.
      1. Have any risk for my wife if We sex without condom or deep kiss or oral sex? Yes, however if she is vaccinated, she should be protected. However, it is recommended that she get tested again to make sure she is not infected.
      2. My ALT (SGPT) reducing ratio is enough good for me? Healthy ALT (SGPT) levels for men are up to 30 or 40, so your level of 431 is quite high.
      Make sure you eat healthy foods, and avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Good luck.

  28. Hello I am a 46 year Women not sexual active and i just found out i that my HBV is Reactive ok my is I never had it and i have taken the vaccine for it so am sitting here wondering how i got i had to back surgerys last one was in 2009 and i have take the HIv test and it was negative and i also have taken plenty of blood test’s before and none of my doctors had said anything about and now that i am suffering a lot of pain from my back and my body they send me to a Rheumatoid specialist and come to find out i have HBV and yes am shaking my head on HOW THE Hell did i get this one more thing to worry about. So my Q? is how could i have gotten this if i have taken the Vaccine for it ?

    1. Hello: You are not alone, about two-thirds of people infected with hepatitis B do not know they have it. One of the most common ways people are infected is at birth, when they are born to an infected mother. Direct contact with infectious blood and body fluids, which is inevitable during delivery, transmits the infection easily. To stop this mother-to-child infection, babies must be vaccinated within 12 hours of birth and be given a dose of HBIG. Hepatitis B is also transmitted sexually. Many people do not know how they were infected, the important thing is to be monitored regularly to see if the infection is harming your liver. There is no cure for hepatitis B, but there are effective antiviral treatments that reduce viral load (HBV DNA) and your risk of liver disease.
      I’m very glad to hear your specialist screened you for hepatitis B before prescribing immune-suppressants medications. They suppress your immune system (obviously) and unfortunately a side effect is your immune system is not able to suppress your hepatitis B and it can reactivate and cause serious liver damage. If you do take immune-suppressants, your viral load (HBV DNA) and your liver enzymes (ALT or SGPT) must be monitored carefully. In fact, your specialist may prescribe antivirals (either tenofovir or entecavir) to pre-emptively reduce viral replication.
      Good luck, and please don’t anguish over how you were infected. What’s important is to take care of yourself, avoid alcohol and cigarettes that can harm your liver, and eat healthy foods to avoid “fatty liver” that can accelerate liver disease.
      Also, you may want to recommend that your siblings/parents get tested for hepatitis B in the event you were infected by your mother.
      Good luck.

  29. Hi

    I (female) have just recently been diagnosed with chronic hep b. I’ve been married since three years and just found out about it due to my parents being recently diagnosed too. Me and partner have always used condoms always! and he’s never given me oral sex (but I have given him oral sex occasionally). I would like to know how much of a risk he is at through our sexual activity and if he is to be negative what should we avoid sexually. I know he would need completed vaccinations but what should we avoid physically. Is condoms safe enough to prevent him from contracting it? Is my giving oral sex to him safe too (I know viceversa could put him at risk). Please I’m really stressed out. We were planning for a kid as well in 6 months times and I’m really concerned about it. Can the infection be spread through placenta? Can my baby contract it before delivery? I would really much appreciate your help! Thanks

    1. Hello: As you have acknowledged, getting him tested for hepatitis B and then immediately vaccinated is a good first step. Then, continue to practice safe sex (use condoms and keep a barrier between you.
      If he is negative for both the hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody, have him follow the three-dose schedule (second shot is 30 days after the first, and the third is five months after the second.) Then about one or two months after the third shot, have his hepatitis B surface antibodies tested. They should exceed 10 mIU/mL to permanently protect him from hepatitis B. Then, you can safely have sex without condoms.
      Unfortunately, as you know, hepatitis B is easily transmitted during delivery/childbirth due to direct exposure to infectious blood and body fluids. When your baby is born, he or she must get the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth and a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B antibodies.)
      Also, you should have your “e” antigen and antibody, liver enzymes (ALT/SGPT) and viral load (HBV DNA) tested. If you test positive for the hepatitis B “e” antigen (HBeAg), it probably means that you have a high viral load. Any woman with a viral load exceeding 200,000 IU/mL should be treated with antivirals during pregnancy to lower your viral load and further reduce the infection risk to your baby. Despite immunization and HBIG, some babies still contract hepatitis B if their mothers have a very high viral load. Please see: http://www.hepb.org/blog/expert-calls-for-viral-load-testing-in-all-pregnant-women-with-hepatitis-b/
      Good luck.

  30. Hello,

    How long does Hep B vaccine’s effectiveness last? I mean, if by chance a person had taken the vaccine (assuming his parents are not infected with hep b and has completed the 3-4 doses when he was a baby-< 12 months old).

    Will he be protected for a lifetime?

    Thank you.

  31. hi…
    im.si confused about my body for more than a year…i have white tongue,white gums,back pain,some rashes that come and go,dry and flaky skin especialy in my arms,and now suffer for stomach pain..is these possible symptoms or hbv?pls answer me…i didnt engage in sexual intercource but im still worrying…i know tested is only the way to kniw whether im infected or nit…..i need som opinon..

    1. Hello: The symptoms you describe are not usually associated with hepatitis B. I recommend you see your doctor, and if you are concerned ask to be tested for hepatitis B. Also, if you are concerned, I hope you have been vaccinated against hepatitis B. Good luck.

  32. Hi! I was just tested of HBV & was positive(reactive). I kept on worrying but when finally I read your replies here I became contented.
    After the test,I went to a chemist/phermacy & obtained APENTIVIR(drug) & started taking. Hope the two drugs you often presicribed aren‘t the only drugs for patient with HBV?
    Secondly,there are food that I was avoided to eat-like fresh meat & fresh fish & also fatty food,so in agreeing with that,I decided to be eating only dried fish. Hope my diet will be balanced?
    Thirdly,you often advice on not to take alcohol & cigarrete,what about marijuana & other natural smoke like “lope“(in my dialect)?
    Thanks alot.
    I will also contact you through your e-mail,If I may need more questions to ask.

    1. Hello: Unfortunately, I cannot find what Apentivir is. Can you ask your doctor if it is another brand name for entecavir or tenofovir? If it is an herbal supplement, we cannot recommend it. There is no herbal supplement that has been clinically found to reduce hepatitis B infection.
      Fresh fish and meat are very healthy, so please don’t think you should eat only dried fish, which can be very salty. The goal is to eat a well-balanced, low-fat diet, that includes fruit and vegetables.
      Many in the hepatitis C community have used medically-prescribed marijuana to ease side effects from interferon for years, so many assume it’s also safe for people with hepatitis B. Unfortunately, there are no studies that conclusively prove its safety. One study that monitored liver fibrosis in 700 people coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C found, “…no evidence for an association between cannabis (marijuana) smoking and significant liver fibrosis progression in HIV/HCV coinfection.”
      But another study concluded: “Cell culture and animal model studies support that (marijuana) could have a therapeutic effect on liver injury and fibrosis progression. However, three cross-sectional studies in patients with chronic hepatitis C suggest that daily cannabis use is associated with fibrosis and steatosis.”
      There is also no information indicating if marijuana is safer when it’s consumed in edibles vs. smoked, though many assume smoking introduces more toxins and chemical to the body. Bottom line: Just because your state approved it doesn’t mean marijuana is safe for you. Talk to your doctor and watch for more studies.
      Good luck.

      1. So I can eat both fresh & dried meat & fish?
        What about oil-groundnut & palm-oil?
        Thanks for your response.

        1. Hello: All of those foods you have mentioned are healthy and fine to eat. Again, aim for a well-balanced diet with a good mix of protein, fruits and vegetables. Good luck.

        1. Hello: Many herbal supplements come in capsules. Hepantivir is an herbal supplement that is packaged in capsules. For more information, please read: As you might expect, the writer claims to have been miraculously cured by the doctor using an antiviral drug called hepantivir, for example. But this drug has no scientific credentials. It has never been studied or tested or reported on in medical journals.
          Good luck.

  33. Hello. On December 9th, 2016 I had blood work done and my AST and ALT liver function numbers were well within normal range. 17 and 19.

    Within about two weeks I started feeling horrible. Just after the new year I went to the doctor and he ran blood tests. My AST and ALT were 1600 and 2400. I went in for a third round of blood tests a few days later and that’s when my Hepatitis test came back as positive for acute Hepatitis B.

    I have never been an IV drug user and have not had sex with anyone for years. I have not shared a razor or toothbrush and can’t think of anytime I could have come directly into contact with anyone’s body fluids of any kind.

    How long ago could I actually have been infected before the signs of acute Hep B showed up in my blood tests and before I started feeling so horrible?

    1. Hello: I am sorry to hear about your infection, it can take several weeks after exposure to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) to experience symptoms. Many people never know how they became infected, whether it was from a non-sterile medical device or procedure, or from some other source. The important thing is you are getting medical, and to be monitored regularly to make sure the infection subsides or determine if treatment is needed. The symptoms should subside soon, I hope. Good luck.

  34. I just got a call from a sexual partner that i only gave oral to and (i had no bleeding of gums) 12 days ago call me and say they tested positive for hep B and asked me if I have it to him. I have been tested in the past several times and my normal partner gets tested constantly and had been negative for everything each time.. is it possible for me to have given him hep B and it to show up within 12 days?

    1. Hello: It is unlikely. It takes several weeks following exposure to the virus for a person to test positive for the antigens that indicate infection. It is likely that he was infected earlier.
      However, to clarify, do you have hepatitis B? If you do not, please get tested and vaccinated if needed immediately. Also, if your regular partner has not been vaccinated, please encourage him to be tested and vaccinated as soon as possible. Good luck.

      1. I have gone to get retested today. But no I have never have had a positive hep B diagnosis before. If I come back negative after exposure to the acute hep b then I will start vaccinations right away. My doctor informed me since I didn’t bring him to “completion” that chances are slim for me to have gotten it but we are gonna be safe and check. He is getting his markers back Monday to tell him how long he has had the infection and I can go from there myself. My regular partner is already vaccinated I found out today thankfully.

  35. About 2 years ago I met a girl online and we met up and I let her perform oral sex on Mr and we never spoke again. I got a hiv yest at 10 weeks after because I was paranoid and it came back neg. But as of late for the past 2 months or so I have been having slight pain in my liver area, and been fatigued more than normal. Also when I eat hot,(not spicy) food I sometimes get a warm/burning sensation in my liver area. COld I have contracted hep b through oral sex?

    1. Hello: It is unlikely you became infected. In order to become infected, she would have to be infected with hepatitis B and be bleeding through her mouth or gums, and you would have to have a bruise/cut opening that her blood had direct contact with. Women are far more at risk of becoming infected from an infected man because they are on the receiving end of body fluids, than a man is from an infected woman.
      However, do yourself a favor and get tested for hepatitis B, if you have concerns, but more importantly GET VACCINATED so you can be forever protected against hepatitis B. Good luck.

  36. I am found infected of hepataitis b 6 Month ago. my wife is not infected and she is vaccinated also after I was found hepataitis b . can we have sex without condom or not. can we have oral sex or not.

    1. Hello: As long as she has been vaccinated, you should be able to have unprotected sex (oral and vaginal) without infecting her. However, to be sure, have her hepatitis B surface antibodies (anti-HBs) tested. As long as she has at least 10 mIU/mL of surface antibodies, she is forever protected against hepatitis B. Good luck.

        1. Hello: You should take tenofovir (an antiviral) only if you have had hepatitis B for longer than six months and are experiencing liver damage, indicated by elevated liver enzymes (called ALT or SGPT) or an ultrasound.
          Tenofovir is very effective in lowering viral load and reducing your risk of liver damage.
          If you do not think you need treatment yet, continue to get monitored every six months to see if you develop any liver damage. Good luck.

          1. I got blood tested after six month about the viral load.it was 13800 then but now the test says viral load not detected… should I continue my medicine? Now I have started going to gym for regular excersice..does gym harm me or no

          2. Hello: I assume you are taking antivirals, and they work for only as long as you take them. If you stop taking them after such a short period, your viral load will probably rebound and increase again. I assume you are getting treated because you had some signs of liver damage? How has the treatment affected your liver tests (ALT or SGPT)?
            Exercising and going to the gym is excellent for your health, as is eating healthy food and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Keep up the good work!

  37. Hello, few months ago my husband has been tested positive for hep b (acute). I gave birth in Nov and we just had sex few days ago. It came in shock to me that he have been testing himself for std’s, hep and hiv. He denies that he slept with anyone else. My question is: before we put a condom on I sat on him once and immediately he took his penis out. Before that I was touching him with my hand. How possible is that I got infected?

    1. Hello: The first thing you should do is get vaccinated against hepatitis B so you do not have to worry about infection again.
      Now to answer your questions, there is some fluid that can be released before ejaculation, which can contain the virus. Because of that, you should always have a barrier (condom) over the penis before any type of penetration.
      If there is any infectious fluids on his penis and you touch it with your hand, the risk is generally low unless you have any cuts or open sores on your hand that would allow the infectious fluid to enter your body. Please get vaccinated so you don’t have to worry about it. The vaccine is given in three doses over a six-month period. Good luck.

  38. I did a test and the test says i’m hepatitis B positive.But i’m a virgin and i dont have any symtoms whatso ever.My mom and i have planned a second test for tomorrow to verify.i have being my self since i was told..i have being mentally down,depressed,sad,i have not even being able to eat anymore….i dont know how this is possible.

    1. Hello: More than half of all chronic hepatitis B infections result when an infected mother inadvertently spreads the infection to her newborn during delivery.
      While hepatitis B is indeed spread sexually, most became infected at birth. Please do not be depressed. Get all of the test done to find out what stage of hepatitis B you are in, and to make sure the infection is not harming your liver.
      Also, make sure you mother and any siblings are also tested for hepatitis B and vaccinated if needed.
      Hepatitis B is also easily spread through contaminated or reused medical devices. Sadly, there are many ways hepatitis B spreads.
      Good luck, eat healthy foods and avoid alcohol and cigarettes.

  39. Hello, I have an undetectable viral load for hbv, please what is the risk of transmission to my partner through oral sex?

    1. Hello: Of all modes of sexual transmission, oral sex carries the lowest risk, but some risk remains depending on viral load and who is on the receiving end of body fluids (semen). For more information on this, read:
      http://www.hepb.org/blog/hepatitis-b-sexually-transmitted-come-partner-isnt-infected/
      While having a low or undetectable viral load reduces the risk of transmission, anyone who continues to test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) can still spread the virus. And keep in mind, safe sex practices prevent other sexually-transmitted infection too. Good luck.

  40. Hello dear; I was tested HBV positive, my doctor says it is chronic so he placed me on TDF. Will I test negative after long treatment? Also I am experiencing gas(stomach upset) from the tenofovir, will this side effect go away? Finally I finding it difficult to inform my fiancé, we have been dating but we just broke the rules last month – just once. Please advice

    1. Hello: Keep in mind that not everyone with hepatitis B requires treatment, many people live long and healthy lives with hepatitis B. Generally, medical guidelines recommend treatment only if you are experiencing liver damage. This is indicated by an ultrasound (Fibroscan) and a simple blood test for the liver enzyme ALT (also called SGPT). Our liver cells release ALT when they are damaged or die. Healthy ALT levels for men are up to 30, and for women they are up to 19. Please consult with your doctor and see what your ALT levels are to determine if you require treatment. If you doctor is recommending treatment, but you have no liver damage and your viral load (HBV DNA) is not high, you may want to postpone treatment and simply monitor your liver enzymes for several months. If you live outside of the U.S., you can find the World Health Organization’s hepatitis B treatment guidelines at: http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/hepatitis/hepatitis-b-guidelines/en/. Perhaps you can review them with your doctor.
      It is always challenging to disclose your hepatitis B infection, for some guidance, please read: http://www.hepb.org/blog/romance-in-the-air-take-a-deep-breath-and-disclose/
      Good luck.
      If you ever do, there are two very effective antiviral medications that are recommended: tenofovir (Viread) and entecavir. Good luck.

    1. Hello: No it is not, you need all three doses of the vaccine, and then about one or two months after your third vaccine dose, you need to get tested for hepatitis B surface antibodies (anti HBs) to make sure you have enough antibodies to protect you against infection. You need at least 10 mIU/mL of surface antibodies to be protected. Please continue to practice safe sex!!! Good luck.

  41. WE KISSED SOME TIME IN SEPTEMBER WITH A LADY AND I BEAT HER LIPS.SOME TRACES OF BLOOD CAME OUT.IN NOVEMBWR I TESTED POSITIVE FOR HBV,COULD IT HAVE BEEN THE TIME I GO IT

    1. Hello: First, I hope this is a poor translation and that you did not physically abuse the woman you had kissed. Violence is wrong and beating a woman is cowardly.
      Now to answer your question, When you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG), it means you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Most healthy adults who are newly infected are able to get rid of the virus on their own within six months. This is called an acute infection. However, if you continue to test positive for HBsAg for longer than six months, it is considered a chronic infection. It means you were probably infected at birth or during early childhood, when your immature immune system could not fight it.
      Knowing whether your hepatitis B is acute or chronic will help you and your doctor determine your next steps. Please get tested again in six months to find out if it’s chronic or acute. If you are unsure of what your blood test results mean, please visit: http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/hbv-blood-tests/

  42. I recently received the following text from the clinic following a full STI screen: ‘The results show you are not immune against Hepatitis B. Please attend [name of clinic] to be vaccinated.’

    What does this mean? Is this a euphemistic way of telling me I am infected? Or simply that I am not immune so should be vaccinated as a precaution? My appointment is not for another few days and I really cannot wait that long to get an idea. My partner is in a high risk group for hep b because of his ethnicity (though hasn’t ever been diagnosed) so after that text I am now convinced I have it, I feel so scared I can’t sleep. Please advise me whether this means I am definitely infected

    1. Hello: I am assuming the lab ran a test for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), which if positive would show you are infected with hepatitis B, and the hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb). If you had been vaccinated in the past or infected and cleared the infection, you would test positive for the hepatitis B surface antibody.
      Because you have not, the clinic wants you to return and get vaccinated so you are protected against hepatitis B. That is a good clinic!!!
      Please get immunized with the three vaccine doses and then rest easy knowing you are forever protected from infection. Good luck.

  43. please my result is: HBsAg negative, Anti-HBs 120IUL POSITIVE, Anti-HBc overall(IgG+iGm) POSITIVE, Anti-HBc IgM NEGATIVE, HBeAg negative, and Anti-HBe poorly. so please i would like you to help me to interpret the meaning.Thanks

    1. Hello: These are great results, you were infected with hepatitis B at some point, but your immune system was able to clear it on its own and you are now immune to hepatitis B. Good luck.

  44. Hello, thanks for your urgent response. but please i have one more question, the question is that i have a girl but it seems that she is hepatitis B chronic career so since that my own has been cleared, so is there any other way it can return back even if start having sex with her without condom? Thanks

    1. Hello: No, once you have cleared hepatitis B — lost the hepatitis B surface antigen and developed surface antibodies — you cannot be re-infected. However, we recommend safe sex to protect both you and your girlfriend from other sexually-transmitted infections. Good luck.

      1. iam 22 years old..iam pregent 6th month..my viral load is 10 crores..and my alt level is 29..i consend doctor ..he told to come in 8th month .he told my liver is not infectd with virus ..is it ok..and how should i Procte my baby

        1. Hello: I am having difficulty understanding your viral load, is there a figure that is followed by IU/mL or copies per mL? That is your viral load.
          It is very important that your baby get vaccinated with the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth, and is given a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B antibodies) if it is available. Nearly all hepatitis B-infected women infect their newborns, unless they are vaccinated. Your baby must be vaccinated with all three doses of the vaccine. The second dose is given 30 days after the first, and the third dose is given five months after the second dose.
          Please continue to be monitored.
          If you have a very high viral load, exceeding 200,000 IU/mL or 1 million copies/mL, your doctor may want to treat you with the antiviral tenofovir during the last few months of your pregnancy. Good luck.

  45. Sir a person was working with me as Labour and I didn’t know he is HEP b Or HEP C positive but later I found that he is.a small knife 🔪 we use for work he had small cut on his finger 🖕 from that knife and later I also got a small cut on my finger 🖕 from that knife 🔪 now I am worried that I might be infected now. What are the odds sir?

    1. Hello: It is unlikely that the exposure you described would transmit a viral hepatitis infection. The best thing you can do to safeguard your health is get vaccinated against hepatitis B, and encourage your workers to get vaccinated also. You could also train yourself and your workers in universal precautions, such as the importance of wearing gloves, and placing a barrier, such as a bandage over any cuts or bruises, so coworkers do not have direct contact with blood and body fluids. Good luck.

  46. I have an unprotected sex once with a heb.B infected person. After a week I consulted a doctor and finished two shots vaccine . I got infected 6 weeks back. I worried a lot , cried .I have children.i don’t know what to do . After how many weeks I want to blood test. Whether we can prevent this virus from growing . Whether I want to consult a hepatology doctor. Please help me.

    1. Hello: The majority of healthy adults who become infected with hepatitis B are able to clear the virus within six months. It takes six months for the immune system to fight and eradicate the infection. Please be patient and try not to worry. Six months after your first positive hepatitis B test (HBsAg), get tested again for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and surface antibody (HBsAb) to see if you were able to clear the infection. Good luck.

      1. Thank you for your reply on time. After 6 months only I want to blood test??. Is there any antibiotic to prevent this infection from growing .

  47. I did family planning ( birth control) .Is it possible to get infection now itself. I’m a female . I have finished my 2 shots of vaccine. I have sleepless nights past few weeks. Since I had unprotected sex .I have consulted only general physician. Whether I want to consult hepatology doctor soon. Please help me . As per your previous reply, after 6 months only I want check blood test . Else I can check now itself . Please help me.

    1. Hello: Getting two shots of the hepatitis B vaccine has an estimated 66 percent chance of protecting you from infection if you have been exposed to the virus through unprotected sex. Since it’s been a few weeks since your possible exposure, go to your doctor and get tested for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and surface antibody (HBsAb). If you are not infected (which is probably the case) and if you don’t test positive for the surface antibody, please get your third hepatitis B vaccine shot as soon as possible so you don’t have to endure this stress again, and always practice safe sex! There are more sexually-transmitted infections than hepatitis B to worry about out there.
      Good luck.

  48. I am very confused by my test results. The results say:
    HEPATITIS B SURFACE ANTIBODY QL – REACTIVE

    Does this just indicate that I have cleared an acute infection?

    1. Hello: Congratulations, it means you have tested positive or reactive for the hepatitis B surface antibody, and you now have immunity and have cleared the infection. Good luck.

  49. Hello, A quick (lol!) Hx, I have (mild)congenital cyclic Neutropenia. Neutrophils fluctuate 2.1-4.1., RBC bit higher 4.5., family Hx (mother) w/Lupus. I am pre-hypertension. With a heart murmur on the right.
    I was exposed to HBV and HCV. I have cleared both. My HCV Antibody is 3.6 RNA was undetected. My HB Surface Antibody is
    <3.10 mIU/ml.
    My fingers have developed large asymmetrical bulges on the thumb, index finger & 5th digit and am testing for RA. FINALLY to my Q's! Sorry so long, not exactly comfortable with my DR's knowledge as she sat at her computer and googled all her responses to my Q's during my appt.
    If I begin treatment for RA (or any other autoimmune disease my body comes down with!) what is the likelihood of reactivating HBV or HCV? Also I had unprotected sex with the HBV infected partner 2 weeks prior to the testing. Is there a chance the viral load was not detectable at that time while the antibodies were present now I could have the virus?
    Am I contagious when I have antibodies and no viral load?
    and lastly with my antibody level can I get the HBV vaccination still?
    The testing is very expensive ($1,103. just for the HCV RNA & Quantitative lab). And insurance denied the claim. So I really can't afford to check my a bunch of times!
    Thanks for your time.

    1. Hello: Treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) usually involves an immune-suppressing drug that keeps the body’s immune system from attacking your joints. The problem is also keeps your immune system from attacking your hepatitis B and keeping it under control. Do you still test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)?
      Unfortunately, you have not yet developed a lot of hepatitis B surface antibodies. As a result, your doctor needs to be very careful about what RA medication is used, given that an immune-suppressing drug can allow your hepatitis B to reactivate.
      Unfortunately, because you’ve already been exposed to hepatitis B, a vaccination will do nothing to safeguard you at this time.
      I don’t know what impact, if any, having sex with an HBV-infected partner will have on your test results. Usually it takes about six weeks after exposure to the virus for a lab test to identify any new infection or changes in HBV DNA.
      Good luck.

  50. How contagious is semen? When woke up in the night I was spooning with my partner and he had a bit of discharge that had soaked through his underwear. Is it possible to get the virus through our clothing? or say off the sheets?
    Thank you

    1. Hello: You need to have direct contact with infectious body fluids, including semen, in order to be infected. The infectious fluid needs to enter your body through sex, or through an open wound or cut. It sounds like your risk was fairly low. However, to avoid this risk in the future, please get vaccinated to forever protect yourself against hepatitis B. Good luck.

  51. In response to our earlier conversation, The HBsAg is “undetectable” per lab report.
    So is it possible for the antibodies to ever be undetectable as well?
    I need clarification as this is so confusing for me. I have been exposed to HebB but my antibodies are not high enough to give me immunity to the virus but since I have been exposed I am not a candidate for the vaccine?
    I am just caught in the middle?
    Will there ever be a scenario where I can get vaccinated for HebB?

  52. Hi! My AST and ALT results are extremely high. I started off with checking if I have hepatitis A, results showed that I don’t have it. Is there a possibility that I might have hep B or C if I don’t have hep A? isn’t there anythng in common between those 3 hepatitis that would show on my blood work?

    1. Hello: The hepatitis A, B and C viruses all infect the liver, so all of them cause liver damage — indicated by high liver enzyme (ALT and AST) levels.
      Please get tested for hepatitis B and C. The majority of people infected with either hepatitis B or C do not know they are infected because these infections tend not to cause any physical symptoms.
      Other causes of high AST and ALT levels include high alcohol consumption, fatty liver, exposure to toxins and excessive use of the over-the-counter painkiller acetaminophen.
      Please get more tests and keep talking to your doctor. Good luck.

  53. Hello,I wish to ask how long can some one stay with the virus before it becomes dangerous.U said dat some pple got it during child birth and only discover it in the adult state.Well I having been feeling pains at the right side of my chest and very afriad because I was diagnosed positive for hepatitis b this year but have been living like this for almost almost 12 years now with only this symptom.I’m from Africa and in my area very few people are aware of it,more so why is the test to determine the viral load so expensive. I need your advice

    1. Hello: It is probably impossible to tell exactly when you were infected. If you have tested positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) for longer than six months, it means you have a chronic infection, and may have been infected at birth or during early childhood.
      Hepatitis B becomes dangerous when it begins to cause liver damage. This is indicated by a liver enzyme test for either ALT or SGPT or an ultrasound of your liver. You should be monitored for liver damage regularly.
      Because our livers have very few sensory nerves around it, we often don’t feel any pain or side effects from hepatitis B, which is why it’s called the silent infection. Your pain may result from another medical condition, unrelated to hepatitis B, and I encourage you to talk to your doctor about it. For more information about abdominal pain and hepatitis B, please read: http://www.hepb.org/blog/?s=abdominal+pain
      Good luck.

  54. I’m newly diagnosed hepatitis b. I have piercings and tattoos. The places I get them at are professional. I’ve been wanting to get another but with this diagnosis​ my mother doesn’t want me to get anymore this moment until I can start treatment. Opinions?

    1. Hello: Medical guidelines do not recommend treatment for hepatitis B unless you are experiencing both liver damage (indicated by an ultrasound or elevated liver enzyme levels) and a high viral load (HBV DNA).
      Now to your question about piercings. As long as you go to a reputable professional and can watch so you know their equipment is brand new and properly sterilized, it should be safe. Good luck.

  55. can u help me access medicine in uganda
    can ARVS help in getting free from aids
    if i have heptitis b AND my girlfriend is not having it and she is immunised and we have un protected sex will she get infected when she is immunised all the three times?

    1. Hello: Please go to the World Hepatitis Alliance website (http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org) and look for member organizations in Uganda. One of those organizations may be able to help you find treatment. But please keep in mind that medical guidelines recommend treatment only if you have a high viral load and signs of liver damage.
      Most people with hepatitis B live long and healthy lives without treatment, especially if they avoid alcohol and cigarettes and eat healthy, low-fat foods.
      If your girlfriend has been immunized, she is probably immune to hepatitis B. To make sure she is protected, she can go to a lab and get tested for the hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb). As long as she has at least 10 mIU/mL, she will be protected. Good luck.

  56. 1. my partner has has taken the vaccine and i am positive with the virus, is there any possibility of her getting the virus from me through unprotected sex.
    2. secondly is there any food to avoid in order to reduce or get cure from the virus.
    3. what are the most recommended treatment for HBV

    1. Hello: Because of her potential exposure to the virus, we recommend that you make sure she has immunity from her immunization. She should have her hepatitis B antibodies (HBsAb) tested. If she has at least 10 mIU/mL of these antibodies, she is completely protected from infection. If her antibody level has slipped below that level, the doctor may want to give her one more vaccine shot (a booster) to assure she is immune.
      There is no cure for hepatitis B, however there are effective antivirals (entecavir and tenofovir) used to reduce viral load and liver damage risk if a person has signs of liver damage.
      The best thing you can do is eat a healthy, low-fat diet and avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Good luck.

  57. hi. last february i was diagnosed with chronic hep.B, my parent were shocked bec. i completed hep.b vaccine when i was a child. is this possible? i told my doctor about this but he also don’t know why, cause he said once you are vaccinated you’re immune for a lifetime

    1. Hello: I know this must be a shock for you.
      If your mother was infected with hepatitis B when she gave birth to you, or if you were exposed to the virus before you received your childhood vaccination, the vaccination would have prevented infection.
      When an infected woman gives birth, unless her newborn is vaccinated within 12 hours of birth and also is given a dose of HBIG (hepatitis B antibodies), the baby almost always becomes infected. You may also have been exposed to the virus through re-used or improperly sterilized medical or dental equipment before you were born.
      We recommend that you encourage your parents to be tested for hepatitis B, in the event one of them is infected.
      Please make sure you are regularly monitored, and be sure to have your liver enzymes (called ALT or SGPT) tested to make sure the infection is not harming your liver.
      Good luck.

  58. Can you please tell me what this means?

    Hep B Surface Ab, Qual
    Reactive
    Non Reactive: Inconsistent with immunity, less than 10 mIU/mL Reactive: Consistent with immunity, greater than 9.9 mIU/mL
    HBsAg Screen
    Negative
    Reference Range: Negative
    Hep Be Ag
    Negative
    Reference Range: Negative
    Hep Be Ab
    Negative
    Reference Range: Negative
    Hep B Core Ab, Tot
    Negative
    Reference Range: Negative
    Hep B Core Ab, IgM
    Negative

    1. Hello: Your tests show that you have been vaccinated in the past against hepatitis B and now have the hepatitis B surface antibodies needed to forever protect you against infection. Good job!

  59. Hi, I was recently diagnosed with HbsAg.I was depressed and scared. So I went through series of test which includes Abdominopelvic which states my liver is normal
    Liver function test normal
    Complete blood count normal
    My HB panel test
    HbsAg— positive
    Anti Hbs….. Negative
    HbeAg —– negative
    Anti Hbe…. Positive
    Anti hbc igm…. Positive
    Anti hbc igg…. Positive
    Pls what does this mean. Am I acutely or chronically infected
    How do I get rid of this virus
    Do I need to be vaccinated
    Pls I am really worried

    1. Hello: When you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG), it means you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Most healthy adults who are newly infected are able to get rid of the virus on their own within six months. This is called an acute infection.
      However, if you continue to test positive for HBsAg for longer than six months, it is considered a chronic infection. It means you were probably infected at birth or during early childhood, when your immature immune system could not fight it.
      Please get tested again in six months to find out if your infection is chronic or acute. The good news is you have tested positive for the hepatitis B “e” antibody (anti HBe), which means your immune system is fighting the infection.
      You do not need to be vaccinated, as you have already been infected.
      If you are unsure of what your blood test results mean, please visit: http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/hbv-blood-tests/
      Try not to worry, eat healthy foods, avoid alcohol and cigarettes, and get tested again in six months. Good luck.
      Good luck.

  60. Today i did not have a lighter for my cigarette so i asked a lady for it and she gave me after that when i was smoking the cigarette i heard her tell another person that she has hepatitis B,is there any chance that i could get because i touched her lighter? after that i washed my hands with water(no soap in that hospital).Im very scared now is there any chance? before i went to wash my hands i had the foil with my blood test papers in the hand that i had the lighter,if by any chance i got contaminated on my hand could i’ve transmited it to the foil then back to me after i washed my hands? thank you

    1. Hello: Hepatitis B is spread only if infectious blood or body fluids enter your body, such as during sex or from a needle stick or if you have a cut or bruise that allows infectious blood to enter.
      Hepatitis B is not spread through casual contact, kissing, or hugging. You do not catch hepatitis B by touching something that someone with hepatitis B also touched.
      I recommend you get vaccinated against hepatitis B, which is a very safe and effective vaccine, so you never have to worry about this again. Good luck.

  61. hi i recent met a girl we didnt have sex but i put my finger in her vagina for about 3 sec and removed my finger and after that she bite me on my cheek but their was no blood from that spot my question is what are the chances of me getting infected if is a hbv + and is sweat a medium for transmitting the virus.what are the chances.?

    1. Hello: Hepatitis B is spread only by direct contact with blood or body fluids from someone with hepatitis B. Unless you had a cut or bruise that allowed her blood or body fluids to enter your body (assuming she had hepatitis B), you are not at risk of infection.
      However, if you really want to protect yourself from hepatitis B, get the three-dose hepatitis B vaccine so you will never have to worry about this again. Good luck.

  62. I was diagnosed Hepatitis B positive recently, and I came to realize my girl friend that I dated for close to one year was being infected long time ago, what does it mean? Acute or chronic

    1. Hello: When you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG), it means you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Most healthy adults who are newly infected are able to get rid of the virus on their own within six months. This is called an acute infection.
      However, if you continue to test positive for HBsAg for longer than six months, it is considered a chronic infection. It means you were probably infected at birth or during early childhood, when your immature immune system could not fight it.
      Knowing whether your hepatitis B is acute or chronic will help you and your doctor determine your next steps. Please get tested again in six months to find out if it’s chronic or acute. If you are unsure of what your blood test results mean, please visit: http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/hbv-blood-tests/
      Good luck.

    1. Hello: Did you have a lab test that showed you had been infected with hepatitis B in the past, but managed to clear the infection? If you share more information, we can be more helpful. Good luck.

  63. I kissed someone with hepatitis B. We used tongues. I have a healing ulcer in my mouth. He says his doctor says his condition is dormant. Am I at risk of having been infected?

    1. Hello: Kissing, hugging, exposure to saliva, and sharing eating utensils does not transmit hepatitis B. Even though you had a healing mouth sore, unless he had blood in his saliva, you should be fine. However, so you don’t ever have to worry about this again, I recommend you get vaccinated against hepatitis B. Good luck.

  64. i was vaccinated against hepatitis a and b and recently i discovered that i am hbsag positive how it is possible

    1. Hello: When people are born to mothers infected with hepatitis B and are not immediately vaccinated, they nearly all become infected with hepatitis B. Similarly, if you were a young child and infected before you were vaccinated, you could also develop an infection. When newborns or young children are infected, their hepatitis B becomes long-term or chronic because their immature immune systems are not able to clear the infection.
      Getting immunized after you are infected, does not make the infection go away.
      Please get monitored regularly, and make sure the doctor checks your liver enzymes (ALT/SGPT) to make sure the infection is not harming your liver.
      Good luck.

  65. I was just diagnosed with hep B. I had cancer 4 yrs ago tested neg for everything, just got tested in jan of this yr and neg, and now i am positive. can this mean my sex partner gave this to me.

    1. Hello: It is possible you were recently infected, if you were screened previously.
      When you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAG), it means you are currently infected with hepatitis B. Most healthy adults who are infected are able to get rid of the virus on their own within six months. This is called an acute infection. However, if you continue to test positive for HBsAg for longer than six months, it is considered a chronic infection. It means your immune system was unable to fight off the infection.
      Knowing whether your hepatitis B is acute or chronic will help you and your doctor determine your next steps. Please get tested again in six months to find out if it’s chronic or acute. If you are unsure of what your blood test results mean, please visit: http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/hbv-blood-tests/
      Good luck.

  66. My friend has been on herion and now found out he has hepititis B can he be treated right away with the vaccincation

    1. Hello: Unfortunately, hepatitis B immunization does not cure hepatitis B if you have already been exposed to the virus and are infected. Please encourage him to get monitored regularly and get a liver function test performed to find out if the infection is harming his liver. He should also get tested again in six months to find out if he has acute (short-term) hepatitis B or chronic hepatitis B. Good luck.

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