Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver and can be transmitted during birth, during sex and through blood-to-blood contact.

Although many people with hepatitis B have no symptoms, the virus can live in the liver tissue and cause severe scarring and liver damage and this can have long-lasting effects on a person's health. Most adults who get hepatitis B recover or 'clear' the infection without specific treatment. They are no longer infectious, and have lifelong immunity.

There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B. If a person still has hepatitis B after six months, the infection is called chronic hepatitis B. Treatments for hepatitis B are improving. The best way to prevent hepatitis B infection is to get vaccinated - the standard vaccination schedule consists of 3 injections over 6 months and is safe and effective.

How far back in time should you trace your previous partners? 6 months prior to onset of acute symptoms.

(Note: this is a general guide only, consult your doctor for any other considerations that are appropriate for your own particular circumstances.)

Further Information

NSW Health