Dr. William Bao
Important Facts You Should Know About Chronic Hepatitis B
Join The Fight. Get Educated. Get Tested. Get Treated
Understand the liver
The liver is the largest organ within the human body. Located behind the ribs in the upper right-hand portion of your abdomen, it weights close to three pounds in most adults. The liver performs a number of essential life functions: helping the body to digest food and absorb nutrients, remove wastes and poisons and make the proteins that are vital for blood clotting.
Definition of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B means inflammation of the liver caused by Hepatitis B virus. It can be chronic and acute. If the virus remains in the blood for more than six months, then a person is diagnosed with Chronic Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread through contact with infected blood or body fluids, such as sharing of toothbrushes or razors. Many people become infected at birth, as the virus is passed on from an infected mother to child. Chronic Hepatitis B is also transmitted most typically through sex and intravenous drug use. Hepatitis B CANNOT be transmitted through casual contact such as coughing, sneezing or sharing food.
About 30% of those infected do not have any symptoms. Those who do often experience flu-like symptoms such nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and fatigue.
The most important thing you can do is getting screened to see if you have Hepatitis B. If you test negative, there is a readily available vaccine that provides a proven method of preventing infection.
Hepatitis B can be detected through a simple blood test.
While there is no cure for Hepatitis B, drug therapy is available for those chronically infected with Hepatitis B. Please talk to your doctor about available treatment options.
15% to 25% of those chronically infected with Hepatitis B will eventually die from liver disease without treatment. Most health insurances will pay for the treatment. For people who are uninsured, we maybe able to get free medications for you if you are qualified.