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The Little Book

of

Hep B Facts

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What

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Hepatitis B is swelling of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Over time this may lead to serious liver disease, including liver cancer.

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What

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There are 7 genotypes (strains) of hepatitis B. Currently, the genotype makes no difference to how medical treatment is given.

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What

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Hepatitis B is not the same as hepatitis C or HIV. Infection with one of these viruses does not lead to, or protect from, infection with the others.

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How Many

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There are over 240 million people in the world living with chronic hepatitis B1. 780,000 die each year from hepatitis B or hepatitis B related illness2.

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1. World Hepatitis Alliance: http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/ en/hepatitis-b.html 2. WHO Fact Sheet No 204. Hepatitis B http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/

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How Many

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About 2 billion people world-wide have been infected by hepatitis B at some time in their lives.

World Hepatitis Alliance: http://www. worldhepatitisalliance.org/en/hepatitis-b.html

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How Many

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In Australia, an estimated 218,000 people are living with chronic hepatitis B.

Source: Hepatitis B Mapping Project Estimates of chronic hepatitis b diagnosis, monitoring and treatment by Medicare Local. National Report 2012-13. p 11

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How many State/ Territory

Number of people with chronic hepatitis B

% of population

ACT

3,600

1.01%

NSW

77,000

1.11%

NT

3,500

1.68%

QLD

37,300

0.89%

SA

14,400

0.90%

TAS

3,500

0.71%

VIC

56,700

1.06%

WA

22,000

0.98%

Source: Hepatitis B Mapping Project, Estimates of chronic hepatitis B prevalence and cultural and linguistic diversity by Medicare Local. National Report 2011, pp 7-21

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Transmission

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Hepatitis B virus can be found in the blood and other body fluids, such as semen or vaginal secretions, of people living with hepatitis B.

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Transmission

Most people with long term hepatitis B got it from their mothers during birth or in early childhood from contact with infected blood through open cuts or scratches.

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Transmission

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Hepatitis B is not hereditary. In other words, it is not passed from parent to child through the genes.

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Transmission

Australians most at-risk of hepatitis B are: • people born in regions of high prevalence, e.g. Asia, the South Pacific, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, • people from remote communities

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Transmission In Australia, new hepatitis B transmissions are mainly through sharing injecting equipment and unprotected sex with an infected person.

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Transmission

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Hepatitis B is 10 times more infectious than hepatitis C and 100 times more infectious than HIV.

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Transmission You cannot get hepatitis B from water, tears, urine, faeces, sneezes, coughs, hugs, mosquitoes, toilet seats, shaking hands or sharing food and utensils.

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Transmission

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Transmission from mother to baby can be prevented by vaccination and injection of immunoglobulin within 12 hours of birth.

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Transmission

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There is no evidence of babies getting hepatitis B through breastfeeding.

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Vaccination

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There is a safe and effective vaccination for hepatitis B.

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Vaccination

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Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for everyone, especially those who live with someone with chronic hepatitis B or those who are exposed to blood or other body fluids in their work.

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Vaccination

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Children born in Australia after 1986 are vaccinated against hepatitis B either through childhood immunisation or school catch up programs.

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Vaccination

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You can get hepatitis B vaccination from your GP, sexual health clinics and some local councils.

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Outcome

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9 out of 10 people who contract hepatitis B as an adult, will recover and remain immune for life.

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Outcome

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9 out of 10 babies who get hepatitis B will have hepatitis B for life.

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Outcome

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1 out of 4 people who have chronic hepatitis B are at risk of serious liver disease.

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Outcome

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A person is said to have chronic hepatitis B when the infection lasts longer than 6 months. “Chronic� is not a description of how severe the infection is.

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Symptoms

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Only three out of ten people have symptoms when first infected. Symptoms are rare in children.

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Symptoms

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Common symptoms include: jaundice, fatigue, joint or abdominal pain, loss of appetite and flulike illness. Most people living with chronic hepatitis B have no symptoms.

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Testing

27 Simple blood tests can show if you have ever been exposed to, currently have, or are immune to hepatitis B.

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Testing

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Hepatitis B testing is available through your GP or sexual health clinic.

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Treatment

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There is treatment for hepatitis B to control the virus and slow down further liver damage.

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Treatment

Current hepatitis B treatment works best at certain stages of the disease. It is important to have regular checks by your doctor to find out the best time to be treated.

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The Law

31 In South Australia, you don’t have to tell anyone you have hepatitis B unless you are:

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The Law

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• a member of, or applying to join, the Australian Defence Force, • a healthcare worker undertaking exposureprone procedures,

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The Law

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Or if you are: • donating blood, organs or tissues, • asked when applying for life or health insurance, or • asked when participating in combat sports such as mixed martial arts.

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The Law

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It is illegal to discriminate against a person because he/she has, or is thought to have, hepatitis B.

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Living with...

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There is no such thing as a “healthy carrier�. All people with hepatitis B should have regular checks with their doctor to monitor their liver health.

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Living with...

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If you have hepatitis B, there is a higher risk of liver damage if you drink alcohol or have another form of hepatitis.

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Living with...

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If you have hepatitis B it is recommended that you: • get a vaccination to protect yourself against hepatitis A • maintain a healthy weight.

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Living with...

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If you have hepatitis B, have 6 monthly liver checks and keep to a healthy lifestyle. Many people with hepatitis B live long healthy lives.

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Hepatitis

100 437 222

Hepatitis www.hepsa.asn.au 6HSWHPEHU

SA Health has contributed funds towards this program

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Little Book of Hep B Facts  
Little Book of Hep B Facts  

Basic hepatitis B facts in digestible portions. Printed copies of this resource are available from Hepatitis SA - email admin@hepsa.asn.au

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