Most of the people around the world living with chronic hep B caught it through mother to baby transmission or during early childhood. This is the highest risk factor.
There are risk factors for adults who have not been vaccinated and have had no prior exposure to hep B. In these cases, you could get hep B if you:
- Have sex with someone who has the hep B virus
- Share needles or spoons, filters, cotton-balls, tourniquets, water or swabs
- Share earrings, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes
- Re-use piercing or tattooing equipment when getting a piercing or tattoo
- Touch infected blood or bodily fluids
- Have an operation or get a vaccination in a country where medical equipment is re-used and not sterilised
This page was last updated 18 April 2017.
Primary source for this page: HIV, Viral Hepatitis & STIs – a Guide for Primary Health Care (ASHM 2014)