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Protecting Yourself Against HBV Infection

The following tips can help you protect yourself against infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV).

  • Get vaccinated(What is a PDF document?) against HBV if you are at risk of becoming infected.
  • Have your children vaccinated against HBV.
  • Do not have sex with someone who is or might be infected with HBV. If you do have sexual intercourse with someone who is infected with HBV (or whose sexual history is unknown to you), use condoms correctly and all the time.
  • If you inject drugs (prescription or illegal), do not share with anyone else the needles and/or equipment used to prepare drugs.
  • Health care workers should practice standard precautions and promptly report to the occupational health department all incidents with needle sticks or other sharp instruments.
  • Members of ethnic groups at high risk for hepatitis B should be vaccinated. These include Chinese, Koreans, Indochinese, Filipinos, Alaska Natives, and Haitians. Asian Americans are also at increased risk for hepatitis B, because they are more likely to have a household member infected with hepatitis B.
  • If you live with someone who has long-term (chronic) HBV infection, you should be vaccinated against hepatitis B.
  • If you get a tattoo, make sure the needles used have been properly cleaned and are sterile.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerW. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
Last RevisedOctober 29, 2012

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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