What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an infection that can cause liver disease. It can be spread through sex. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and using condoms.

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How to prevent hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus (called the hepatitis B virus, or HBV). It can be serious and there’s no cure, but the good news is it’s easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.  

How do you get hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is really contagious. It’s transmitted through contact with semen (cum), vaginal fluids, blood, and urine. You can get it from:

  • having vaginal, anal, or oral sex (using a condom or dental dam during sex can help prevent it)

  • sharing toothbrushes and razors (blood on them can carry hepatitis B)

  • sharing needles for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.

  • getting stuck with a needle that has the Hep B virus on it.

Hepatitis B can also be passed to babies during birth if their mother has it.

Hepatitis B isn’t spread through saliva (spit), so you CAN’T get hepatitis B from sharing food or drinks or using the same fork or spoon. Hepatitis B is also not spread through kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.

Are there other types of hepatitis?

Yes, the most common kinds of hepatitis are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is the kind that is most likely to be spread through sex. Learn about other kinds of hepatitis.