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Hepatitis B

Symptoms

Many people don’t have any symptoms. Within one to six months of exposure others may experience:

- Abdominal pain or tenderness- Very dark urine
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes- Severe fatigue, achiness
- Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite 

What it is: A viral infection primarily affecting the liver.

How many get it
About 77,000 new cases a year through sexual transmission; about 750,000 people are already infected with Hepatitis B as a result of sexual transmission.

How it's spread
Through unprotected vaginal, oral, and anal sex. It can also be transmitted through sharing contaminated needles, or through any behavior in which a person's mucus membranes are exposed to an infected person's blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or saliva. (Don't worry... the chance of getting Hepatitis B through kissing is slim, unless your partner likes to bite!).

Treatment
Most cases clear up within one to two months without treatment, during which complete abstinence from alcohol is recommended until liver function returns to normal. Some people are contagious for the rest of their lives. A three-dose vaccine is now available to prevent this STD.

Possible consequences
Chronic, persistent inflammation of the liver and later cirrhosis or cancer of the liver; plus, if you're pregnant, your baby must be immunized at birth.  

Related Links

American Social Health Association
Hepatitis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

 

 

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