Could you be at risk?
About 1 in 100* people in NSW have hepatitis B. Almost half of those aren’t diagnosed yet.
It could be you, especially if you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or were born in a country with high rates of hep B. Without monitoring and treatment, people living with hep B are at risk of liver cancer and other liver problems.
Chronic hep B infection is a major cause of liver cancer and reason for liver transplantation. Without regular check-ups, 15-25% of people with chronic hep B will experience serious liver problems and some will die from liver cancer or liver failure because of their hep B.
In Australia, most people with hep B were born overseas in a country with a high prevalence including: China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea. Most people with hep B have had it since birth and have lived with it for most of their lives. These people have a high risk of advanced liver disease. In NSW the highest concentration of people with hep B live in the Local Health Districts of Western Sydney, South Western Sydney, Sydney, South Eastern Sydney and Northern Sydney.
GET TESTED. KNOW YOUR STATUS.
There are often no symptoms of hep B until it is too late. The only way to know if you have hep B is to have a blood test. A simple blood test takes a small amount of blood from your arm and sends it to a lab for testing. Doctors do not routinely test for hepatitis B so if think it could be you, you should ask to be tested.
Getting tested is the best way to take care of your health and that of your family. There are now treatments available that can keep you well and prevent serious liver damage. By finding out if you have hep B you can also keep other family members healthy by getting them vaccinated.