About Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus, which is highly contagious and is spread through contaminated blood via needle sharing, blood transfusions, injections and unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. People can also be infected through unhygienic and unclean practices of tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture and at barbershops and nail salons. The virus can also be passed from mother to baby. More than 350 million people in the world are infected.
If you are at risk of picking up any sexually transmitted infections, then it is highly advisable to be tested and treated without delay. Early treatment reduces the risk of complications in the future.
If the test is positive, then you may need further testing to see if you have picked up any other infections. At Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic, our doctor or nurse will provide you with impartial and confidential advice based on your sexual history and symptoms, and recommend the most appropriate screening / testing.
EnergixB is the vaccine which helps to protect against hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is also available in a preparation that combines it with hepatitis A vaccine: Ambirix, Twinrix and Twinrix Paediatric.
The vaccine is recommended for people travelling to high risk places where Hepatitis B may occur or people who are at risk of contracting hepatitis B. At Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic, our doctor or nurse will advise if you should consider having this vaccine.
The hepatitis B vaccine is administered in either two to four-doses over a period of 7 months. The immunity developed after the vaccine is predicted to last for at least 25 years. An accelerated course is available consisting of 3 doses within 28 days. The doctor or nurse will advise on the best schedule for your circumstances.
1. You can prevent getting hepatitis B by avoiding risky behaviour e.g. unprotected sex, tattoos, body piercings, visiting traditional barbers in high risk destinations. Dental and surgical procedures should also be avoided in high risk areas.
2. It is advisable to take extra precautions even if you are vaccinated including understanding the status of sexual partners, practicing safe sex and using protection (condoms) during sexual intercourse.
3. Vaccination is the best protection against hepatitis B.
There is no specific treatment or cure for Hepatitis B, so treatment is usually supportive. People who are diagnosed with Hepatitis B need to be monitored closely for any signs of liver failure.