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High Risk Groups

The hepatitis B virus can infect infants, children, teens and adults. Although everyone can be at some risk for a hepatitis B infection, there are people who are at greater risk because of their ethnic background, occupation, or lifestyle choices.

The following list is a guide for screening high-risk groups, but it certainly doesn't represent all potential risk factors.

  • Health care providers and emergency responders
  • Sexually active heterosexuals (more than 1 partner in the past six months)
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Individuals diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Illicit drug users (injecting, inhaling, snorting, pill popping)
  • Sex contacts or close household members of an infected person
  • Children adopted from countries where hepatitis B is common (Asia, Africa, South America, Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East)
  • Families of children adopted from the countries listed above
  • Individuals emigrating from countries where hepatitis B is common (see above)
  • Individuals born to parents who have emigrated from countries where hepatitis B is common (see above)
  • ALL pregnant women
  • Recipients of a blood transfusion before 1992
  • Kidney dialysis patients and those in early renal failure
  • Inmates of a correctional facility
  • Staff and clients of institutions for the developmentally disabled
  • Any individual who may have other risk factors not included on this list


Page last reviewed March 2014

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