Viral Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
Hepatitis B vaccine is available for all age groups to prevent hepatitis B virus infection.
- Jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, intermittent nausea, vomiting
- Hepatitis B virus
- Injection drug users
- Sexually active heterosexuals
- Men who have sex with men
- Infants/children of immigrants from disease-endemic areas
- Low socioeconomic level
- Sexual/household contacts of infected persons
- Infants born to infected mothers
- Health care workers
- Hemodialysis patients
Incidence increased through 1985 and then declined 55% through 1993 because of wider use of vaccine among adults, modification of high-risk practices, and possibly a decrease in the number of susceptible persons. Since 1993, increases observed among the three major risk groups: sexually active heterosexuals, homosexual men, and injection drug users.
- Hepatitis B vaccine available since 1982
- Screening pregnant women and treatment of infants born to infected women
- Routine vaccination of infants and 11-12 year olds
- Catch-up vaccination of high-risk groups of all ages
- Screening of blood/organ/tissue donors
For more information and clinic locations
Call the National STD/HIV InfoLine
Prepared by CDC (Centers for Disease Control), National Center for Infectious Disease