Hepatitis B is considered both a bloodborne pathogen as well as a sexually transmissible virus. Rates of hepatitis B infection have been significantly reduced in the U.S. and in other countries where the health infrastructure is able to support health education, vaccination efforts, and post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-newborn transmission. However, rates of hepatitis B exposure are steadily on the rise, often occurring in communities that are disproportionately impacted by anti-vaccine misinformation, systemically-perpetuated distrust in healthcare, and/or communities impacted by widespread stigmatization and marginalization. These communities may include (but not limited to): people who inject drugs, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people of color especially within refugee and immigrant communities. It is estimated that only 25% of individuals living with hepatitis B have been diagnosed in the U.S. Though there is no cure for hepatitis B, there are medications that can help slow the impacts of the virus on the liver and reduce the rates of transmission once detected.
Learn more about how HEP supports people in preventing and screening for hepatitis B!