Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus or HBV, leading to liver disease. It is spread through sexual intercourse but can be prevented by using condoms during sex or by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. This disease can be severe, and there is no known cure, but the good news is that it is very easy to prevent.
Most infected people never feel sick. However, some newly infected persons may have symptoms that last for several weeks. More than 90% of individuals who get hepatitis B as adults finally recover from their indications. Symptoms may be intense or minor and can include;
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
- Stomach pain
- Lack of energy
- Achy joints or muscles
- Jaundice (having yellow eyes or skin)
- Brown urine
- Diarrhoea (loose stool)
- Sick to your stomach
How can you contract it?
Hepatitis B is a very contagious disease. It is transmitted via contact with blood, semen (cum), and vaginal fluids. You can get it from the following;
- Sharing needles for piercings, tattoos, etc.
- Having oral, anal, or vaginal sex (a dental dam or using a condom during sex can prevent it).
- Getting pierced with a needle that has the virus on it.
- Sharing razors and toothbrushes
It is good to note that the virus cannot be spread by sharing foods or drinks or using the same fork or spoon. It can also not be contracted through saliva (spit), hugging, holding hands, breastfeeding, kissing, coughing, or sneezing.
How to protect yourself
The two primary preventive measures are;
- Getting the hepatitis B vaccine and
- Practising safe sex.
Before you have oral and anal or vaginal sex, it is advisable to use dental dams and condoms to stop the spread of the virus and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
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