What is Hepatitis B?

  • Spread by exchange of body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal discharge, anal mucus) during unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex, and sharing injecting equipment, unsterilised tattooing/piercing equipment, and sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razor blades and nail clippers.
  • Someone with Hepatitis B may not develop symptoms for many years but can still pass the infection to others.
  • It can be passed to a baby during pregnancy.
  • If untreated it can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
  • Diagnosed by a blood test.
  • There’s a vaccination to protect against Hepatitis B and treatment is available.
  • Household contacts should be vaccinated.
  • People who have chronic Hepatitis B but do not have any liver damage do not need treatment; however, they do need close monitoring.

SHINE SA can provide free Hepatitis B vaccinations for people eligible under the SA Health High Risk Hepatitis B program (not including occupational or travel vaccinations). To find out if you are eligible, or to book an appointment, please call 1300 794 584.

Further information, education and support is available from Hepatitis SA.