Yes – hep B is more common in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities.
The hep B shots can help protect you and your family. You’ll need at least three shots. Hep B shots are free for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It is also more common for people from these communities to need hep B booster shots.
If you’re not sure if you are protected against hep B you can get tested at your doctor, at a sexual health service or at an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS). They’ll take a small amount of blood and test it. Search our directory for your nearest AMS.
What if I have it?
If you have hep B and you’ve had it for longer than six months then you have chronic hep B. This means that you will have hep B for the rest of your life.
It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to keep yourself well. They may suggest you go to a liver clinic so you can get tests to see how hep B is affecting your liver.
Depending on what these tests say, you may be offered treatment to help decrease the amount of virus in your blood. This will help reduce the risk of your liver being scarred (cirrhosis).
Ask your AMS or doctor for regular liver tests (about every six months) even if you feel well.
Talk to your AMS or doctor before taking any herbal or complementary medicines as some are harmful to the liver.
Get some regular exercise and eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day – a healthy body weight will help keep your liver healthy too.
Alcohol and tobacco are both harmful to your liver. If you regularly drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, then talk to your AMS or doctor about what is available to help you to cut down or stop. You can also call the Alcohol Drug Information Service (ADIS) NSW for support, information, counselling and referral to services in NSW on 1800 422 599.
Yarndi is also harmful to your liver. If you smoke yarndi regularly, then think about cutting down or stopping to help look after your liver. You can call the Cannabis Information and Helpline on 1800 30 40 50 to get some help with it.
This page last updated 23 May 2016.