Living With Hepatitis B Virus

Hepatitis is a viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the liver and can devastate a person's health. Hepatitis are of 5 types; hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis D (HDV), and hepatitis E (HEV). Hepatitis B virus belong to the family of hepadnavirus. Hepatitis B virus affects millions worldwide.  It has no seasonal trend and no regional boundaries. HBV is present in the blood, semen, saliva, nasopharyngeal washings and vaginal fluids of infected people. A person who is not immune can become infected if he comes in contact with any of these fluids. The virus enters into the body (blood stream) through broken skin or mucous membranes.

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Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by
*. birth (from an infected mother to her baby).
*. Medical, dental, tattooing or body-piercing instruments that have not be properly sterilized.
*. Sharp hypodermic needle, razor, nail files or clippers.
*. Sexual activity.

Hepatitis B virus kills a carrier silently, a person may not be aware he has the virus and can spread it to others unknowingly. He may remain asymptomatic for many years. Symptoms may start to manifest when the condition has become chronic and this can lead to liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer, and death. People who have the symptoms for more than 6 months are considered as a carrier. A high percentage of people who have had HBV do recover. HBV is not hereditary and there is no evidence that asymptomatic carrier may spread it through casual contact or the sharing of food.

Some common symptoms of hepatitis B virus are:
*. Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
*. Light-colored stool
*. Weakness and fatigue
*. Abdominal pain
*. Joint pain
*. Nausea and vomiting

Vaccine is available for HBV. Hepatitis B vaccination is the most effective measure to prevent HBV and it devastating consequences. Early detection and treatment can help ward off damage. Orthotopic liver transplantation may be done for treatment of chronic hepatitis. HBV is 100 times more infectious than HIV, thus it should never be treated with levity.

Who is more at high risk?
High risk persons are the newborn infants to mothers with HBV, health care personnels, organ transplant patients, blood transfused patients, hemodialysis patients, promiscuous persons, institutionalized persons and parenteral drug abusers.

It is not uncommon to see people infected with HBV stigmatized. There are misconceptions that HBV carriers are promiscuous since it can be transmitted through sexual activities. This situation has caused more harm to infected persons and to the society at large. Why so say? People have resulted to avoid being tested for HBV because of fear of discrimination and those who knew they have the virus have concealed it from others. They fear  that they will be isolated or may even lose their jobs. With this trend, hepatitis B virus may continue to spread from one generation to another generation. The best way to handle this trend is to inform both carriers and non infected people about practices that might increase the risk of infection or transmission and not needlessly ostracizing anyone.


  1. Hepatitis is a silent killer. HBV I know is more virulent that the other types. I see no reasons why people should be ostracize just because they have hepatitis B virus. HBV is not a contagious as ebola.

  2. I like this piece. People do neglect all these silent killers and concentrate more on HIV and recently EBOLA. Getting the vaccine is the perfect way to prevent it. Thank you once more.

  3. Thanks for putting this article out there Mazino; it is a very informative and concise post. It is a shame with many diseases and human conditions that people around the world are shunned. I don't know if the vaccine is available where you are but it is a good idea to get it if traveling.

  4. This is very informative post about Hepatitis. I knew about the diseases but never read how its spreads and what are the symptoms. It is always better to visit your doctor regularly and if there is cure we must try it. Rest God knows well when we have to leave. There was a campaign in Kashmir when I was a kid, the vaccine was given to kids at school to avoid Hepatitis. It surly is a silent killer.

  5. It must be v. Tough living with Hep B, but you've given a lot of information to work with. Certainly I feel dealing with any chronic illness, it's importt for the patient to be as knowledgeable about their illness themselves. Thanks for the post.

  6. Hep.B is very dangerous. It is better to take the vaccine. I read that the virus can be alive on a surface for 7 days.

  7. Very highly educational post which can help many people to be screened and get this out of the way Mazino.

  8. Well written and informative blog. I am curious about the vaccination and why it is not more readily available.

  9. I can't even imagine what it must be like to live with Hepatitis B. What I found in this post was how very informative it was. I've known about the diseases on a surface level only. I was unaware of how its spreads and what the symptoms are. This was very good to know. :-)

  10. My mother had been diagnosed of Hepatitis B disease 3 years ago. She had been using the interferon therapy (Peg-interferon + Ribavirin) which adversely affected her hemoglobin level as she is also thalassemic (a side effect of using the interferon therapy). Luckily after stopping the treatment.

    I read a book by HEALTH MED LAB about natural cures and he recommends these two things as a natural cure for HEPATITIS disease,Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy and Crocodile Protein Peptide. You can Google both of these to get more info. Also, need to do the cleanses,colon, liver, kidney, galbladder. Eat organic foods to get the toxins out of your body so your body can overcome the disease itself.This is important. I am not promoting his book, but I feel it is a must read if you want information on how to beat this awful disease. My mother is now HEPATITIS Negative with his help, Anyway, his email : ( God bless and good luck!


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