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What is hepatitis B?

What is hepatitis B?

Home All about hepatitis B What is hepatitis B?
What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It’s the most common liver infection in the world, usually passed on from mother to baby, or through exposure to the blood of someone with hepatitis B (usually through unsterile medical procedures).

Hepatitis B can be very serious if undetected. Hepatitis B can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis (scarring of liver tissue), liver cancer or liver failure if it is left unmanaged or untreated. Luckily, people with hepatitis B can live healthy lives if they are treated by a doctor.

A big concern is that many people with hepatitis B don’t know they have it. This is because the virus doesn’t show symptoms in most people. These people become ill, and go to the doctor or hospital not knowing they have hepatitis B until they receive the results of their blood test.

Working with hepatitis B: Interview with Dr Thomas Tu

In this video, follow Dr Thomas Tu’s personal story as he is diagnosed with hepatitis B when he was a teenager and learns to live with the virus. He lives and works with, and manages his hepatitis B. Hepatitis B can be managed once diagnosed and treatment is covered by Medicare for all Australian citizens.

Dr Thomas Tu also created the HepBCommunity.org, which gives users access to resources and support regarding their hepatitis B diagnosis.

What might cause hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is caused by the Hepatitis B virus, which is most commonly transmitted through:

Find out more information about hepatitis B transmission here.

Hepatitis B signs and symptoms

Hepatitis B often has no symptoms, but if they do appear, they include:

The symptoms of hepatitis B, if any, are the same for men, women, children and babies.

What to do if you think you have hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an easily manageable condition. If you think you might have hepatitis B, see your doctor for a blood test. You can live a long and healthy life if you do have hepatitis B, as long as you regularly visit your doctor for monitoring.

Call the Hepatitis Infoline for more information about hepatitis B

If you’re unsure what to do next or have a question about hepatitis B, call the Hepatitis Infoline for more information and support.

You can also browse our FAQs, or download one of our free online resources.

You might be able to access healthcare via your computer or phone. Click here to learn more about Telehealth and hepatitis B >>

You can also join the HepBCommunity.org forum, created by Associate Professor Thomas Tu, for more free online support to people living with hepatitis B.

If you would like to learn more about hepatitis B, ask your doctor or call the Hepatitis Infoline.

Click here to check out the current hepatitis B awareness campaign >>

Read more about hepatitis B, in-language

You can read The Hepatitis B Story in English and other languages.

Find clinics and doctors in NSW

Find local clinics and specialists in NSW who can help you with Hepatitis treatment and care.

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