Hepatitis, also known as serum hepatitis, is a serious infection of the liver which is caused by the HEP B virus (HBV). In cases, where hepatitis infection persists for longer than 6 months, it is deemed to be a chronic ailment. Essentially caused by a virus found in bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal juices and saliva, Hepatitis B can endanger your health and if left untreated can turn out to be lethal. Fortunately, Hepatitis B is the only sexually transmitted disease which has a perfectly safe and highly effective vaccine to protect you from getting infected. For the safer side you should go for HBV Testing as soon as you see any symptoms.
Hepatitis B – How Does It Spread?
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious disease which is spread through the exchange of bodily fluids from an infected person to a healthy person. There are several ways through which one can contract Hepatitis B, some of which are:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse
- Shared needles or getting tattoos from used, infected needles
- During childbirth – when an infected mom transfers the disease to her child
- By being bitten by an infected person
- By sharing personal hygiene items such as razors or toothbrushes.
Unprotected Sex – the most common way to contract Hepatitis B
As per statistics, unprotected sexual encounters are the leading reason behind the spread of Hepatitis B infection in the US. According to one study, heterosexual sex which involves vaginal penetration results in one-third of Hepatitis B infections in adults. It is important to note that the risk of contracting this dangerous infection is increased if a person has more than one sex partners or has a history of STDs. On the other hand, one fourth of the infections occur in men who have sex with other men – in other words, engage in homosexual sex.
Don’t be scared – Hepatitis isn’t that contagious
Having read the initial section of the post, you might develop an aversion to people with a history of STDs. Fortunately, it is not that easy to get infected. Sharing food or water or casual socializing acts such as hugging, kissing cannot infect you. Even being the same vicinity of coughing or sneezing infected people isn’t any cause for alarm.
What is HBV Testing?
HBV Testing entails a series of blood tests to diagnose the infection in your body and ascertain its severity as well. While just one blood test is required to diagnose acute hepatitis B, you may need additional blood test to determine other aspects of the infection such as the duration of infection and the extent to which it has affected your liver. In fact, there are even tests which determine whether a person has been infected before or not.