Hepatitis Home > Hepatitis B Transmission

Who Is at High Risk for Hepatitis B?

The following groups of people are considered at a high-risk of contracting hepatitis B:
  • People with multiple sex partners or who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Sex partners of infected persons
  • Intravenous drug users
  • People who received a transfusion of blood or blood products before July 1992 or clotting factors made before 1987
  • People who live in the same household as a chronically infected person
  • Infants born to infected mothers
  • Infants and children of immigrants from areas with high rates of hepatitis B -- particularly Africa, Asia, Alaska, and parts of South America
  • Healthcare and public safety workers
  • International travelers
  • Hemodialysis patients.

How Long Does It Take for Symptoms to Occur?

When someone becomes infected with the hepatitis B virus, he or she will not feel sick immediately. The period between HBV transmission and the beginning of hepatitis B symptoms is called the hepatitis B incubation period. It may be as short as 30 days or as long as 180 days; the average is 4 to 12 weeks.
(Click Hepatitis B Incubation Period to learn more about this period of time between infection and symptoms. Click Hepatitis B Prevention to learn how to prevent becoming infected with the hepatitis B virus in the first place.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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