Hepatitis B is an infection that can have serious long-term effects to your liver, and general health. This can include cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. Around one in five people with Hepatitis B will have a chronic illness. It is therefore important to monitor your reaction to the virus.
Did You Know:
In 2015, Hepatitis B resulted in 887,000 deaths, mostly from complications, including cirrhosis. Read more.
How is it transmitted?
Hepatitis B is passed on through contact with infected blood or body fluids. It can be sexually transmitted, particularly if you or your partner has any cuts or tears in the genital area. The virus is highly contagious and can be passed on very easily. You only require a tiny amount of blood to contract the virus. Infection commonly occurs through the sharing of contaminated needles (often for intravenous drugs use), accidental injury with contaminated needles (tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture) and the sharing of contaminated razors, as well as unprotected sexual intercourse.
How will I know if I have Hepatitis B?
Many people with Hepatitis B will not show any symptoms, or may feel unwell. The only way to know if you have it is to get tested. When symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Dark urine
- Extreme fatigue
- Abdominal pain
What tests are available for Hepatitis B?
Better2Know's Hepatitis B testing needs a blood sample to detect infection. You can test for it on its own and it is also included in our Hepatitis Screen, Full Screen and Platinum Screens.
How is the infection treated?
Many people with Hepatitis B do not require any specific treatment other than rest. However, it remains important to continually monitor the infection, to assess whether chronic disease develops.
Your Better2Know doctor may advise you to see a specialist. A specialist will carry out further testing to see the effect the virus is having on your body and provide the right treatment for you if the disease is more advanced. If the infection lasts for more than six months (a chronic infection, where the virus continues to actively reproduce in the body), you may need more specific drug treatment to reduce the risk of permanent liver damage (cirrhosis) or liver cancer.
Regardless of whether the infection is producing symptoms or not, you are advised to avoid alcohol, get plenty of rest and maintain a healthy diet.
How can I book my test with Better2Know?
Call Better2Know today on the number displayed above to speak to a member of our friendly Patient Services team. Our experienced staff will answer your questions and process your booking. Alternatively, you can arrange your appointment online by selecting the Book Now button at the top of the page.