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Hepatitis B Virus


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a widely distributed pathogen that is able to produce both acute and chronic infections.

How You Get It

The disease is passed by having sex with an infected person. It can also be contracted through contaminated blood. Practices such as sharing needles during drug use increase the risk of contracting HBV. It is easier to get hepatitis if a condom is not used.

How It Is Transmitted

Hepatitis B is transmitted during sex with an infected partner or when sharing needles during drug use.

What It Looks Like - What The Symptoms Are

All signs of hepatitis B are related to liver dysfunction, which is what the virus causes. The signs include loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, vomiting, pain in the stomach, and a yellowing of the skin or the white part of the eye. Some of these signs are also signs of other diseases. Therefore, having any of these should be sufficient reason to see a qualified medical professional.

How To Get Tested For It

A healthcare professional will take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory. The results can take up to two weeks to return.

Treatments

Hepatitis B can be treated, but there is no current cure for it. An intramuscular injection is given to control damage to the liver and control the disease.

If Left Untreated

Serious liver damage

Prevention

Avoid or eliminate high-risk behavior (shared needles during drug use). Consider vaccination.

 

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