Hepatitis BHEPATITIS B VIRUS (HBV)
Although 90-95 percent of adults with HBV recover completely, the virus can cause severe liver disease and death. Unless they are treated within an hour of birth, 90 percent of the infants born to women with HBV will carry the virus. Pregnant women who may have been exposed to HBV should consider being tested before giving birth so that their babies can be vaccinated at birth or treated if they become ill. Like many other viruses, HBV remains in the body for life.
HBV is the only sexually transmitted infection that is preventable with vaccination. But about 77,000 Americans get HBV every year because they have not been vaccinated. There are now about 75,000 people with sexually acquired HBV in the U.S.
How HBV is spread:
In semen, saliva, blood, and urine by:
Hepatitis B is very contagious.
None. In most cases the infection clears within 4-8 weeks. Some people, however, remain contagious for the rest of their lives.
Condoms offer some protection against HBV during vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse, but the virus can be passed through kissing and other intimate touching. Children and adults who do not have HBV can get permanent protection with a series of HBV vaccinations.
Date of Source Material: 2/2/2006
Source: Public Health
Link to Source:
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