You are on page 1of 2

Just the Facts Resources

The hepatitis B virus is found in the Hepatitis Foundation International

blood and body fluids of persons Hepatitis Foundation International focuses on
infected with this virus. bringing viral hepatitis under control. The
Hepatitis B is not spread through Foundation supports research and provides
food or water or by casual contact. educational programs and materials for medical
professionals, those with hepatitis, and the
Hepatitis B can be spread by public.
sexual contact; by sharing razors or
needles; from mother to infant Hepatitis Foundation International
during birth; and by tattooing or 30 Sunrise Terrace
body piercing with unsterile Cedar Grove, NJ 07009-1423
equipment. Phone 973/239-1035
Toll-free 800/891-0707
Hepatitis B, once caught, has no Fax 973/857-5044
cure. There is, however, prevention E-mail
in the form of the hepatitis B Internet
Hepatitis B Foundation
Every year, more than 5,000
Dedicated to eliminating hepatitis B through
Americans die of hepatitis B
community education, the Foundation provides
free educational materials and provides
referrals to healthcare providers specializing in
hepatitis B and support groups.

For a list of free materials, contact:

Hepatitis B Foundation
700 E. Butler Avenue
Doylestown, PA 18901 Hepatitis B
Phone 215/489-4900
Fax 215/489-4920

Reviewed by Rosie Fardo , RN, BSN, CIC, Kathy Brooks,

RN, PhD, CIC, Chris Nightingale, RN, BSN, CIC and
Terri Ruppel, RN, BSN, CIC
Copyright 2005 by the Association for Professionals
in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC)

Hepatitis B
Are You at Risk? Symptoms
In 2001 an estimated 78,000 persons in the U.S. Hepatitis B infects many adults without making
were infected with hepatitis B. More than 70 them feel sick. You can carry the virus in your
percent of those infected are between the ages of body for years without knowing it and
15 and 39. unintentionally infect others.

Are you sexually active with multiple partners? If you do get symptoms, they are like the flu:
Or, do you have a sexual partner who is at risk you lose your appetite, feel extremely tired,
for hepatitis B infection? have stomach cramps, and throw up. If you are
more seriously ill, your skin and eyes may turn
Are you a healthcare worker such as a nurse, yellow and you may need to be admitted to the
doctor, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, hospital.
laboratory technician, emergency room
attendant, an employee of an institution for the Acute hepatitis: Lasts no longer than 6 months,
developmentally disabled, or any other position after which you are no longer infectious.
that exposes you to potentially infected blood
or body fluids? Chronic hepatitis: Lasts longer than 6 months
and you remain infectious.
Do you work in public safety positions such as
fire and rescue or law enforcement?

What is Hepatitis B? Are you an immigrant from Asia, Africa, the

Amazon Basin in South America, the Pacific
Islands, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East?
The hepatitis B virus infects the liver and Are you a Native American or Alaskan Native?
can lead to liver failure, liver cancer, and
death. Hepatitis B is spread when blood Do you live with someone who has hepatitis B?
How can I protect myself?
or body fluids from an infected person
enters the body of a person who is not Do you practice tattooing or body piercing?
The only way to protect yourself from infection
infected. The hepatitis B virus is 100 Do you travel internationally to endemic areas? is by getting vaccinated (a three-shot series). If
times more contagious than HIV, the virus you are at risk, talk with your doctor today
that causes AIDS. Do you have hemophilia? about getting the hepatitis B vaccination.
Are you receiving hemodialysis treatments?
Are you a man who has sex with men?
Have you ever used intravenous drugs?

If you answered yes to any one of these

questions, you are at risk of infection with the
hepatitis B virus.