Hepatitis B is a serious and often chronic infection that can cause damage to the liver in people who cannot clear the virus themselves. This can lead to scarring of the liver ( fibrosis), cirrhosis and in some cases liver failure. It can also increase the risk of developing liver cancer
Although Hepatitis B is mainly a blood borne virus, it is easily passed on through sexual intercourse, mainly through contact with semen, vaginal fluids, blood and even saliva. It is much more infectious that HIV and can stay alive for longer outside the body and on inanimate surfaces. There is therefore also a risk of picking it up from used needles and shared razors and even shared toothbrushes. It can also be passed on through certain types of contact sport.

There are very few symptoms after infection and most people are diagnosed incidentally through routine STI screening, which is why it is so important to get regular sexual health screening, even if you have no symptoms. It is highly recommended that certain at risk groups get vaccinated against Hepatitis B. This includes gay men and sex workers and healthcare workers who are deemed to be more at risk of getting exposed to the virus. Getting vaccinated is a no brainer as the vaccination is safe and long lasting usually offering protection for life. It means there is one less thing to worry about when you are having sex with a new partner.
Get vaccinated today!