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What is Chronic Hepatitis B and who is at risk?

What is Chronic Hepatitis B (HBV) Infection?

HBV is a chronic viral infection that can cause inflammation in the liver, which over time can cause liver damage or liver cancer in some people if left untreated.

  • HBV is spread when people come in contact with the body fluid, blood, or open sores of someone who has the hepatitis B virus.
  • People with chronic HBV infection usually have no symptoms
  • Blood tests, liver ultrasound, and liver biopsy are used to diagnose HBV.
  • Adults exposed to HBV usually recover and become immune.
  • Infants born to mothers actively infected with HBV are at high risk for developing chronic HBV.
  • If left untreated, chronic HBV can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure.
  • Regular screening for liver cancer may be required for some patients with chronic HBV.

Patients with HBV are at an increased risk for liver cancer and may require routine cancer screening. Ask your provider today.

Who is at Risk for HBV?

You Are at Risk If You:

  • Were born in the U.S., and not vaccinated as an infant, and have parents born in high-risk countries
  • Have traveled to countries where HBV is common
  • Were born to a mother who has HBV
  • Have had contact with infected body fluids (blood, semen, or vaginal secretions)
  • Have had unprotected sex with a person infected with HBV
  • Have had a tattoo or body piercing with unsterilized tools
  • Have shared unsterilized needles
  • Have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and/or HIV

An excellent and safe vaccine is available to prevent HBV. Vaccination against HBV is recommended for everyone, particularly those with liver disease.

Set Up an Appointment with Arizona Liver Health

Call Arizona Liver Health at 480-470-4000 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced providers who can help diagnose your liver condition and put you on a path toward improved outcomes.