Hepatitis B: How to Avoid Spreading the Virus

Hepatitis B: How to Avoid Spreading the Virus

Overview

The following tips can help you prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

  • Tell the people you live with or have sex with about your illness as soon as possible. The CDC recommends that people in close contact with an infected person get the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Do not donate blood or blood products, organs, sperm, or eggs (ova).
  • Stop all sexual activity or use latex condoms. Do this until your doctor tells you that you can no longer give hepatitis B to others. Avoid anal contact with a sex partner while you are infected.
  • Do not share personal items that may have your blood on them. These include razors, toothbrushes, towels, and nail files.
  • Use lotions or ointments to prevent chapped or broken skin. These skin problems can expose others to your blood.
  • Tell your doctor, dentist, and anyone else who may come in contact with your blood about your illness.
  • If you are pregnant, tell the doctor who will deliver your baby about your illness. Be sure your baby gets medicine to prevent infection. This should start right after birth.
  • If you get blood on your clothing or other fabrics, clean them well.
  • Be sure to carefully get rid of sanitary napkins and tampons or other disposable items that have your blood on them. Place them in sealed plastic bags before you throw them away.
  • Use a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to clean surfaces that have your blood or any other body fluid (such as semen or menstrual blood) on them. These surfaces include toilet seats, countertops, and floors.
  • If you have long-term hepatitis B, always use latex condoms during any sexual activity. You can infect others with the virus even if you do not have symptoms.

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