Hepatitis B Prevention

Hepatitis B Prevention Through Avoiding High-Risk Behaviors

Certain behaviors put a person at risk of contracting hepatitis B. Avoiding these high-risk behaviors is another approach to hepatitis B prevention. Following are some recommendations for avoiding these types of high-risk behaviors:
 
  • If you are having sex, but not with one steady partner, use latex condoms correctly every time you have sex. Using condoms may lower your risk of getting hepatitis B.
     
  • Don't share toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers, washcloths, or anything else that could have an infected person's blood on it.
     
  • Consider the risks if you are thinking about getting a tattoo or body piercing. You might get infected if the tools have someone else's blood on them or if the artist or piercer does not follow good health practices.
     
  • If you are a healthcare or public safety worker, get vaccinated against hepatitis B and always follow routine barrier precautions. Handle needles and other sharp objects in a safe manner.
     
  • Do not shoot drugs. If you shoot drugs, stop and get into a treatment program. If you can't stop, never share drugs, needles, syringes, water, or "works," and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
     
  • If exposed to hepatitis B, get a hepatitis B immune globulin injection within 14 days following exposure and begin the hepatitis B vaccine series.
     
  • If you are pregnant, get a blood test for hepatitis B. Infants born to infected mothers should be given hepatitis B immune globulin and the first dose of the vaccine within 12 hours after birth.
     
If you already have hepatitis B, you should:
 
  • Not donate blood, organs, or tissue
  • Make sure your babies get all of their hepatitis B shots, with the last shot being at six months of age.

What Is Hepatitis B?

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