People who have certain
behaviors or certain jobs are at high risk for becoming infected with
Job risk factors
Handling blood or body fluids as a routine part
of your job. This includes health care workers, such as doctors, dentists,
nurses, and blood and lab technicians, and students in these
jobs. It also includes morticians and embalmers.
employee or resident of an institution for people who have developmental
Being an employee or inmate of a
Lifestyle risk factors include:
Being born in, or spending more than 6 months in, parts of the world where
hepatitis B is common or where a large number of people have been infected for
a long time. Such areas include Southeast and Central Asia, the
islands of the South Pacific, the Amazon River basin, the Middle East, Africa,
Eastern Europe, and China.
Being a man who has sex with men.
Being sexually active. This includes having
unprotected sex with someone who is infected with the virus or whose sexual
history is unknown to you.
Having more than one sex partner. (Your
risk is higher if you have another
sexually transmitted infection such as
Living with someone who has a chronic hepatitis B
Getting body piercings or tattoos from
someone who doesn't sterilize his or her equipment.
Sharing needles or other
equipment (such as cotton, spoons, and water) to inject illegal drugs.
Other factors include:
Being born to a woman who is infected with hepatitis B (if the newborn doesn't promptly receive the
hepatitis B vaccine and
hepatitis B immunoglobulin). But breast-feeding doesn't spread the virus to a child.