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Hepatitis B

hepatitis b, sti, sexually transmitted infection, reproductive health, family planning

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that infects the liver. Based on the estimates of WHO (World Health Organization) in 2016, there are around 8.5 Million Filipinos chronically infected with the hepatitis B virus.

How Do You Get It

Hepatitis B is highly contagious, and there are quite a lot of ways how you can possibly get it: It can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, or urine when having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected person, or even through sharing needles, nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes. Getting a tattoo or piercing with infected tools is also another way how you can catch the virus.

What Are The Symptoms

A lot of people with hepatitis B are unaware that they have it—they may feel completely fine, or have symptoms that make them think they just have the flu. Symptoms of hepatitis B may include:

  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Loss of appetite (they don’t want to eat)
  • Feeling exhausted
  • Brown or dark urine
  • Light or gray stools
  • Pain in the stomach, muscles, or joints

How To Test For It

The doctor can confirm if you have hepatitis B through a simple blood test. It has no cure, but there are cases wherein it goes away on its own, as well as cases where people have it for the rest of their lives. For those who have long-term hepatitis, available medicines can help the liver. Even if there are no symptoms showing, you can still pass it on to others through unprotected sex.

How To Get Rid Of It

Hepatitis B can be prevented by getting the vaccine, which is recommended for babies. If you have never gotten the hepatitis B vaccine, you should inform your doctor.

Sources:

https://www.teensource.org/std/hepatitis-b

https://pia.gov.ph/news/articles/1009393

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