Hep B Blog

Dating and Hepatitis B – A Personal Perspective

imagesGreat insights and advice on dating with chronic HBV from a member of the Hepatitis B Information and Support List. 



Dating is a recurring topic on the Hepatitis B Information and Support List, and for good reason.  Many think having a chronic (infectious) illness like hepatitis B makes them less than worthy of love and a normal life with a romantic partner.  Unfortunately we forget we are more than our illness and focus on the things we cannot change rather than the wonderful things we have to offer a partner.

I have been on several dating sites since my divorce a few years ago, so I have some experience with this. My personal philosophy and method is to be selective about the people I choose to date.  To me, it is important if the potential date has common sense and good character. Once I feel this person is worthy of my time and attention, I have the talk about my hepatitis B, and that HBV is vaccine preventable.  If they are interested in continuing a romantic relationship with me, they need to be vaccinated to protect against HBV.  Some may have already been vaccinated, and if so, HBV is no longer an issue.

You need to approach dating, not as who will ‘accept’ you, but rather who ‘deserves’ you. Perspective is everything. If you see a health issue like HBV as a unique barrier to intimacy others will not understand and might reject you for, you will create self-defeating thoughts that not only limit your happiness, but are inaccurate. Everyone has issues. Whether it is health, mental, social or financial, we all feel alone at times and want a connection with another soul.

Dating with HBV can be compared to interviewing for a job. In a job interview you would present your best traits to a potential employer.  While you want to be honest about your shortcomings, you don’t tell them why they would NOT want to hire you.  That would be stupid. Right?  Yet it is often how we approach dating, thinking no one will accept us, forgetting to see the big picture of how special and deserving we are, and how much we have to offer and give in a relationship. We forget that someone would be very lucky to have us!

And like a job interview, sometimes you will be overlooked or rejected. That just means you were not a good fit for that employer, it is not a reflection of your value as a person.  And so you keep interviewing, until you find the perfect fit.  That job may last years, a lifetime or a few months.  And then the interviews start again…

FYI, I have been rejected for having chronic hepatitis B, and I have been in long-term relationships with men who had no issue with my HBV.  The reason the relationships ended had nothing to do with my hepatitis B infection. Dating is like any other life experience; there are ups and downs.

Having HBV is only a small facet of who you are, and not a reason to give up on a loving relationship.  A partner who accepts you as you are and wants the best for you is someone who will not see HBV as a barrier to getting to know you.

Bottom line is you want to date someone who considers your health to be of importance, as a friend would care about your wellness.  A relationship requires compatibility and a sense of ‘I got your back’  as well as chemistry and attraction.  To me, someone I date must be a friend, and not just a sexual partner.   Whatever your goals for a relationship are, remember you are a great catch!

HBV does not define you – unless you let it.


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34 thoughts on “Dating and Hepatitis B – A Personal Perspective”

    1. I hope you will consider the writer’s suggestions. There are some good prospects out there. Just remember that you are a good catch for someone else as well!

      1. Hello: We understand that when we have hepatitis B, being able to talk to others who have the same condition can be tremendously supportive. There is an online email list of people who live with hepatitis B, you can sign up at http://hblist.net/
        However, people who have hepatitis B can date and marry people who are not infected. As long as they are vaccinated and have enough hepatitis B antibodies to protect them, there is no threat of infection. We understand totally that because of ignorance, some people are afraid of people who have chronic infections like hepatitis B and don’t want to date them. If a person is like that, perhaps it’s better not to date them. Perhaps you deserve someone who is wiser and more compassionate. Remember, hepatitis B is a part of you, but it does not have to define you. Good luck.

    2. I am a 43 years old man who got Hepatitis B some 20 years back. After few years of treatment I became Negative. But since I got Hepatitis, I have not been able to find myself a life partner. This is because whenever I told girls that I am Hepatitis B Negative, they feared out of ignorance that they may get it from me and so they avoided me. Of lately it dawned upon me that it will be better if I date someone who is Hepatitis B Positive or Negative. But most women do not want to disclose that they had or have Hepatitis. Also unfortunately I could not find any dating apps or websites dedicated to people with Hepatitis. Ultimately I found this site. Lets see if I can find myself a female life partner.

  1. Thank you so much for your post, it inspires me a lots. I have been recently diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B. I was so devastated, i told my boyfriend already. Even he still encouraged me, i still felt so unconfident in my health issue. I worried he would leave me for that :(. However, after reading your post, i feel much better. Yeah you are right, i’m still a great catch, “having hepatitis b is just a small facet of who i am” 🙂

  2. I am glad someone has had a positive experience with the dating thing. This has been nothing but a nightmare for me personally. Once you are diagnosed with this disease you are tainted. I dont care what anybody tells you. People will talk to friends family read bad information on the internet that is incorrect and outdated and they will believe whatever someone tells them. Heck I have even offered to pay women to go to their doctor with me to have questions answered. Had a lady who had been vaccinated that told me she could still contact it through coughing and sneezing. This sight is bs. Get this disease and watch what happens to your life. It’s as bad as having aids.

    1. Hello: I’m sorry to hear about your experiences. Don’t give up, there are good people out there who will actually do their homework, get vaccinated, and realize it poses no threat. Good luck.

  3. Sure, people with HBV are still people. They can still have a good life and sexually sensual life! HBV is luckily the only viral STI which has a 95 – 99.9% viability or potence to protect someone against the infection. So, marrying or dating someone who is HBV positive can be safe and romantic if one gets vaccinated and, is kind and understanding enough to accept their partner! The only other aditional precaution from me would be that, whoever learns about this vaccine should not wait to get an HBV positive partner to get vaccinated, just get the vaccine and take the whole 3 shot shedule early in time to be sure you mount sufficient immunity before your engagement with your HBV positive partner (if you ever get them). Besides knowing your date’s HBV status, you also need to know ststus of their other hepatitis viral species such as Hep A, Hep C or ‘D’. Why necessary, is because HBV Vaccine is not universally protective for the others much as it’s protective against HBV. There can be a life and a perfect date even when you’re HBV positive. So, none should cause stigma to someone because they’re HBV positive! There will always be a perfect catch for a sensual and romantic relationship. Good luck.

    1. Hello!
      My name is zabi I’m 25 years old and I’m hapititis B positive can I have safe childrens?

      1. Hello: Yes, you can marry and 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 (HBsAb) to protect them.
        Have them go to a doctor and get screened for hepatitis B. If they are not infected and haven’t been vaccinated in the past, they should get the three shots of the vaccine. (They may have been immunized during childhood.) 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. Or, if they were immunized in the past, have them tested now to make sure they have enough antibodies to protect them. The number of antibodies should be more than 10 mIU/mL. That means they have enough antibodies to fight off infection.
        If they were immunized long ago, their antibody levels may be under 10, if that is the case talk to your doctor and get one more hepatitis B vaccine shot (called a booster), and then test again to see if the antibodies have increased.
        Until you are certain that your partner has enough titers to fully protect them from hepatitis B, you must practice safe sex and use a condom.
        If you have children, an infected woman faces a high risk of infecting the newborn (because of virus in blood and body fluids). To prevent that, your baby must be immunized with the first vaccine dose within 12 hours of birth and given a dose of HBIG if it’s available. HBIG contains hepatitis B antibodies and helps fight infection.
        Early in your pregnancy, if you can, check your viral load (HBV DNA). If you have a high viral load and test positive for the hepatitis B “e” antigen, your doctor may want to treat you with antivirals to lower your viral load and reduce your risk of infecting your baby. For more information see http://hepbblog.org/2015/06/25/expert-calls-for-viral-load-testing-in-all-pregnant-women-with-hepatitis-b/
        To protect your own health, it is important to eat healthy food and avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Also, do not share razors or nail clippers, and make sure all of your household members are screened and vaccinated against hepatitis B.
        Good luck.

  4. Hello. I’m a 35 year-old, single woman. I was diagnosed with Chronic Hepatitis B about 1 1/2 years ago. I am a medical anomaly. I had all three vaccines, on schedule. I am the 5% who didn’t develop immunity. I am also one of the less than 10% of adults whose body didn’t naturally fight off the disease.

    I likely caught it from a dental procedure with incorrectly sterilized dental equipment. Or from an ex who worked in a hospital, who luckily either developed immunity if he in fact had caught the disease.

    My concern is that I feel like I’m tainted. Like people look at me as someone who is bad and undesirable. It’s really affecting my confidence when it comes to dating.

    1. Sorry guys for being so negative. I really just needed a place to vent how I feel. I’m still working through dealing with these emotions, and it seems there is no support for people afflicted with this disease in my rural community. Thanks for listening regardless. 🙂

    2. Hello: I am sorry you feel “tainted” because you have hepatitis B. Please, do not let hepatitis B define you.
      As one of the leaders of the patient email support group has written, “You CAN Date. You CAN marry. You CAN have sex. You CAN have a normal life.
      “It’s not health, income, or outside circumstances that hold us back. It’s our perspective. There are many people who succeed in this world in the presence of severe obstacles. They succeed because they don’t let it limit them. And they don’t feel sorry for themselves – they use what they do have to their advantage.”
      Hepatitis B is not a punishment or a disability. It can be an opportunity to discover how to love and accept yourself. And to learn what really matters in relationships and life.
      Feel free to join the hepatitis B information and support email community at: http://hblist.net/
      Good luck.

  5. My boyfriend is diagnosed of heptasis b and he said we should break up. I have been vaccinated 5years ago and he still doesn’t understand. I love him so much and I don’t want to loose him. What do I do

    1. Hello: You are right, there is no reason to break up with someone who has hepatitis B. You are vaccinated and are protected against infection. Why exactly does he want to break up? If you have been together for several years, why is he saying this now? Is he afraid your children will be infected (they won’t be if they are vaccinated)? Good luck, and keep talking!

  6. Hi there. I am diagnosed with hep b 11years ago, no following check up after the doctor said to me it will heal itself within the year.

    I am worried about my partner. We have been together for 17mos.

    I’ve been visiting a lot of forums for the past years to perhaps feel better, talking about not get infected with their partner. And they are together for 2, 3, or 5 years.

    Can you help me understand these testimonies?

    1. Hello: First, if you have not been tested for hepatitis B and liver function for 11 years, you should be as soon as possible. You may have had a new (acute) infection and it may have resolved itself, but you must make sure and get your hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and surface antibody (HBsAb) tested. If you are still HBsAg positive, you can infect anyone with whom you have unsafe sex.
      Your partner should also get tested and vaccinated as soon as possible.
      How infectious one is, and how quickly one infects a sexual partner, depends on many things, including the type of sexual activity, viral load and other factors. However, bottom line is if you test positive for hepatitis B (HBsAg), you are capable of spreading hepatitis B through unsafe sex.
      Good luck.

  7. Hi there. I am diagnosed with hep b 11years ago, no follow up check up after the doctor said to me it will heal itself within the year. Ive done several blood test and that is the time that my doctor said that it will heal itlsef. I understand that there is no closure.

    for the past years, Ive been doing healthy lifestyle by doing proper diet and exercising. I become much stronger and healthier. Does that mean that my liver is okay due to the fact that I am growing stronger even though there is no closure with my status?

    I am really concern with my girlfriends medical exam because it included there Hep B testing as well that will be release next week Friday. After 11 years this is again the moment that caught my attention.

    Please help me understand. Thank you.

    1. Hello: Eating healthy foods and leading a healthy lifestyle will strengthen your immune system and help you control your infection.
      I am confused and concerned that you have never been tested again for hepatitis B? You should be.
      Did you tell your girlfriend about your hepatitis B? Before you have unsafe sex, she should be vaccinated to protect her against infection. That is what a responsible and caring partner does. Please make sure both of you have been tested and make sure she is vaccinated. Good luck.

      1. Yes. I already told her but after together for 17mos and she was surprised. And I feel guilty for that. Good thing she accepted me. We talked about how the virus works and how to avoid getting it worst. She was already vaccinated way back then Before we met. according to her mom she completed the vaccination. Is this mean she will not get infected?

        About my situation for the past 11 years, i never had any signs and symptoms. I noticed the positive changes when I started living a healthy life style and doing weekly exercise.

        And I understand I need to visit my doctor for clarification.

        Thank you so much for replying.

  8. Anyway brothers and sisters my only concern is I didnt inform my girlfriend about my status. I feel worried and bothered. She just knew couple of days ago. And now its an issue.

    But you know what, as Hepatitis B carrier, for me its a priveledge due to it will stop you from eating processed and toxic foods or vices (fatty foods, liqour, smoking, lack of sleep, unhealthy lifestyle, etc). Also you can become more healthier and have more focus in life due to your limitations.

    As for one of the leaders says,

    “Hepatitis B is not a punishment or a disability. It can be an opportunity to discover how to love and accept yourself. And to learn what really matters in relationships and life.”


    Purely all about life, acceptance, and love.

    Thank you for all who supported hep b org out there.

  9. Being over 40 dating with Heb B sucks!! Most men my age either never got vaccinated and have no interest in doing so (even with the rapid 30 day Hep A/B option. 9 out of 10 times and sometimes 10 out of 10 times disclosure leads to rejection. So all of the fluffy “you’re not tainted” talk is great..but it’s not realistic at all. You folks should spend less time moderating this site and spend some real money on an ad campaign to get people vaccinated!

  10. Hi there so 7 days ago I was diagnosed of having HepB according to my med result, so Furiously I told it to my fiance and he did med exam as the same time and he turned Negative. we been dating for 3 years and had unprotected sex since we tried to have a baby. I felt so missrable and got scared if he is going to leave , but he said he dont. but I dunno if he really means that or just having pity on me cause he knows how much I love him. but in the other side i think its unfair to him to date like me as Hep B +. I donno.

    1. Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable disease. First check to see if your fiance may have recovered from an acute HBV infection. Greater than 90% of healthy adults newly infected will clear an HBV infection. Please encourage your fiance to start the series immediately if he does not have a current infection or has not recovered from a past infection. You may have a low or undetectable viral load at this time, but over time things can change (which is why regular monitoring is so important!), so you want to be sure he is protected.

      Please do not beat yourself up about having HBV! There are 257 million people in the world living with chronic HBV. You are not alone. Most with chronic HBV were infected at birth or during early childhood. Babies and children are most vulnerable, but fortunately there is a safe and effective vaccine to be sure you do not pass HBV to your babies. Babies start with a birth dose of the vaccine within 12 hours (and HBIG if available.) They then complete the series and most are protected – especially if your viral load is very low. You will want to confirm at the time of pregnancy. Take a look at this section and please do not be so hard on yourself! http://www.hepb.org/treatment-and-management/pregnancy-and-hbv/ http://www.hepb.org/prevention-and-diagnosis/diagnosis/understanding-your-test-results/

  11. i was told i had hep b wben i was 20 prego with my 1st child. she is the only of the four who have it. i just meet a baseball player and he loves me so much but i wont do it. i knw he will leave if i do he can have anyone.

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