A major cause of liver cancer

Hepatitis B (hep B) is an infection that can cause serious damage to the liver. Without follow up from a doctor or proper treatment, up to one third of people with chronic hep B will develop liver failure or liver damage.

Could you be at risk?

The most common way hep B is passed on around the world is at birth or during early childhood. This is the highest risk for people born in parts of the world where hep B is common like Asia, the Pacific Islands and Sub-Saharan Africa.

As an adult you can get the virus if you:

  • Have unprotected sex with someone who has the hep B virus
  • Share injecting equipment – needles or spoons, filters, cotton-balls, tourniquets, water or swabs
  • Share earrings, razors, nail clippers, or toothbrushes
  • Re-use piercing or tattooing equipment when getting a piercing or tattoo
  • Touch infected blood or bodily fluids
  • Have an operation or get a vaccination in a country where medical equipment is re-used and not sterilised

get tested. Know your status?

The only way to know if you have hep B, and how hep B is affecting your liver, is to have a blood test.

You should get a hep B test if you:

  • Were born in a region where hep B is very common (Asia, the Pacific Islands and Sub-Saharan Africa).
  • Are an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander – hep B is more common in your communities.
  • Are someone who injects drugs, or has injected drugs in the past.
  • Are a man who has sex with men.
  • Had a tattoo or medical procedures in a region where hep B is common.

Your GP can give you a test. In some cases, you can also go to a community health centre or a sexual health clinic.

Knowing your status means you can
then make decisions about your health.


Stay Informed

Get Advice & Support