In this video, we meet Heesook who has been living with hepatitis B. Heesook talks about her experience of living with hepatitis B, her diagnosis and treatment. We also talk with Dr Alice Lee, Heesook’s specialist, about the need for people from migrant backgrounds to get tested early and often to ensure they can get treatment, if needed, before they get liver damage.
What is Hep B?
Hep A, hep B and hep C are the most common hepatitis viruses in Australia.
Hep B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It’s the most common liver infection in the world. Hep B often has no symptoms, so you might have it for years and not know it. But, if you don’t manage your hep B, it can lead to serious liver health problems.
Liver damage and health problems from hep B can include:
- Cirrhosis (scarring of liver tissue)
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure
But, with proper monitoring and treatment (if needed) people with hep B can live healthy lives. It’s very important to get tested if you think you have been at risk of hep B, so that you can get the care you need.
Who is at Risk of Getting Hep B?
Hep B is passed on most commonly from mother to baby, or through blood-to-blood contact.
How Is Hep B Transmitted?
The hep B virus can live in blood and sexual fluids. You are at risk of hep B transmission when there is blood-to-blood contact with someone with hep B. Unprotected sex can also be a transmission risk for hep B.
Why Test For Hep B?
About 1 in 100 people in NSW have hep B. Almost half of those don’t know it yet.
If you think you may have hep B, the only way to know for sure is to get tested. Hep B is not a routine test, so unless you ask for it, the check-ups you do with your family doctor will not include it. If you want to know your hep B status, ask your doctor for a hep B test.
You might be able to access healthcare via your computer or phone. Click here to learn more about Telehealth and Hep B >>
Managing and Monitoring Hep B
Hep B is an easily managed condition. If you see you doctor for regular hep B check-ups, you can live a long and healthy life with hep B. The most important thing is to see your doctor every 6 months for liver checks.
Hep B can change over time. There are times when the virus is quiet and not damaging your liver much. At other times, the virus is active – and this is when the liver gets damaged.
Learn More About Hep B
Find out more about hep B and make the best health choices for you. Our hepatitis B FAQs aim to quickly answer the most commonly asked questions about hep B. You might have had hep B for several years, or you might have been diagnosed with hep B recently. In any case, our hep B FAQs are for you.
You can also call our free Hepatitis Infoline to speak to someone who can provide you with more information about hep B. Call 1800 803 990 today.