How much do you know about Hepatitis B? You may know it to be an STI, but do you know there are other ways it can be passed on?
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver. The infection causes the liver to become inflamed and reddened. It is caused by a virus called the Hepatitis B virus. It is famous for being one of the significant STDs one can contract from having unprotected sex.
But that is not all you need to know about this infection. Did you also know that it is one of five strains of viral hepatitis? Other strains A, C, D, and E also exist.
Types of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can either be chronic or acute.
Acute Hepatitis B
This illness happens within the first six months after a person is infected. Some people with acute Hepatitis B have mild or no symptoms, while others become very sick. Most adults can fully recover because the body usually creates antibodies to rid the liver of the infection.
Chronic Hepatitis B
If a person is infected with Hepatitis B and it lasts more than six months, it is called chronic or long-term Hepatitis B. This kind of Hepatitis B is more common in cases of infected newborns or young children. In such early stages of their lives, the immune system is not developed enough to fight the infection and stop it from spreading to the liver and multiplying.
How Hepatitis B is transmitted
Hepatitis B is a very contagious infection. It can be gotten through exposure to an infected person’s bodily fluids like blood and semen.
Hepatitis B can be transmitted through unprotected sex with an infected person, but there are other ways it can be spread that do not require sexual contact.
- Sharing needles and sharp objects with an infected person
- Transmission through pregnancy and childbirth
- Use of unsterile medical equipment
- Sharing toothbrushes
You can hug, shake hands and kiss an infected person on the cheek or lips without getting infected. It is also safe to eat food prepared by an infected person. Hepatitis B is not airborne, so you cannot get it when you cough or sneeze. Also, an infected mother cannot pass it on to her uninfected baby during breastfeeding.
Knowing how this dangerous infection is spread is essential to know how best to protect yourself. Always practice safe sex, get tested, and encourage people around you to get tested as well.
If you feel unhealthy or suspect you have been exposed to Hepatitis B or any other STD, speak to a doctor on Doctall immediately.