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FAQ

Is hepatitis B contagious?

Page last updated 26 June 2018

Yes. Hepatitis B can be easily spread from person to person via contact with blood or bodily fluids, including semen and vaginal fluids.

There are precautions you can take to reduce your risk of hepatitis B infection:

  • Ensuring you and your family are immunised against hepatitis B
  • Use condoms every time you have anal or vaginal intercourse
  • Avoid oral sex if you or your partner has herpes, ulcers or bleeding gums
  • Only receive piercings or tattoos from experienced practitioners who follow good sterilisation and hygiene practices
  • Wear disposable gloves if you need to give someone first aid or to clean up blood or other bodily fluids
  • Never share needles, syringes, spoons, swabs or water if you inject drugs.
     

If you have hepatitis B, you can reduce the risk of transmitting the virus by:

  • Avoiding sharing personal items such as toothbrushes and razors
  • Ensure close contacts are immunised against hepatitis B
  • Cover any wounds with waterproof dressings
  • Practise safe sex
  • Consider discussing your condition with your healthcare professional when undergoing any procedures.
     
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Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government, Department of Health, Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.5 Hepatitis B. Available at http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-5 (accessed 5 April 2018).
  2. Victorian State Government, Better Health Channel, Hepatitis B. Available at https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hepatitis-b (accessed 5 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0173a - Date of preparation May 2018

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