Hepatitis B

Chronic hepatitis B affects the liver and is caused by hepatitis B virus. It is the most serious type of viral hepatitis infection and is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV. Approximately 350 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis B.

Acute versus chronic
Acute hepatitis B is short-term and some people are able to fight the infection and clear the virus. If the virus remains after six months, it can lead to a lifetime of chronic infection. Over a long period of time, this can lead to serious liver problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer. About 25 per cent of adults who become chronically during childhood die from hepatitis B-related liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Transmission
The hepatitis B virus can be transmitted through blood or other body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid and saliva. This can happen during sexual intercourse, sharing needles, syringes, or other injection drug equipment; or from direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person. The virus can also be transmitted from mother to infant during childbirth.

The hepatitis B virus can be prevented through vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccine is given as a series of 3 shots over a period of 6 months. The entire series is needed for long-term protection. Booster doses are not currently recommended.

Symptoms
Symptoms can take up to 30 years to develop and damage to the liver can silently occur during this time. Most people with chronic hepatitis B were infected with the virus at birth or during early childhood, leading to a lifelong chronic infection. Many infected people do not experience symptoms and are unaware that they carry the hepatitis B virus. As a result, many can unknowingly spread the virus to others.

When symptoms do appear, they often are a sign of advanced liver disease and can include fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, and jaundice.

Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis for hepatitis B virus is typically done by a blood test. As most people infected do not show any symptoms, testing is the best way to determine whether or not a person is infected with the virus.

Acute hepatitis B virus patients are recommended to rest, have adequate nutrition, fluid and close medical monitoring. For chronic hepatitis B virus infections, treatment options include antiviral medication. If the liver is badly damaged, a liver transplant may be required.

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NOhep is a global, grassroots movement aimed at bringing all stakeholders together to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. It has been developed to create global awareness of the disease, similar to the red ribbon for HIV/AIDS, and was launched in 2016. NOhep firmly positions itself at the forefront of the elimination conversation, showcasing exemplary leadership, fostering on-the-ground innovative solutions and taking action to support the policy changes needed to eliminate this cancer-causing illness by 2030. Being a part of NOhep means being part of the solution. (To find out more about the development of this exciting initiative, watch this short video: https://youtu.be/Oer-rGwnKZU

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>> FAST FACTS
Viral Hepatitis
  Globally, 2 billion people have been
infected with hepatitis B virus, with an
estimated 600,000 dying each year . . .
  The number of people with chronic
hepatitis C and more advanced liver
disease or cirrhosis, is projected to
increase by 38% between 2006 and 2015
unless the number of people being
treated increases substantially.
  There is no vaccine for hepatitis C but
approximately 80% of patients who are
able to complete recommended
treatment, are cured . . .
World Hepatitis Day
July 28
WHD 2013

One million people die from viral 
hepatitis in Asia Pacific every year.
On WORLD HEPATITIS DAY CEVHAP 
urges governments to embrace WHO's
new global framework for action.
                                >> READ MORE

>> FEATURED VIDEOS 
Why hepatitis policy matters - the story of Baltazar Lucas  
 
Video What are the dangers of viral #hepatitis? Hear what #CEVHAP Chair Prof Ding-Shinn Chen had to say to the Wall Street Journal.
  
A Message from DS Chen
Chairman, CEVHAP

 

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