Hepatitis B

I am hepatitis B positive. Can I go abroad for work?

  • To answer your question, we need to know the status of the virus and your liver. Based on these, if you are a healthy carrier, you can work abroad.
  • The problem lies in the middle eastern countries, which require you to be non reactive to hepatitis B to become eligible to work. While this is not the right approach, they don't heed. It is very important to know that once you are hepatitis B positive, there are no medicines that can change it to negative. (with exceptions)
  • If you are refused work based on your hepatitis B status alone, this would amount to discrimination in India.
  • For sensitive jobs that may harbour a risk of transmission, e.g. employment in healthcare, it is recommended to keep a low viral load to <200 IU/ml. This requirement differs in each country.

Is it possible that the positive hepatitis b surface antigen becomes negative?

  • The Hepatitis B virus integrates into the DNA of the body and hence it is difficult to eradiate it.
  • It can happen in 1% with current medicines.
  • Please watch the video below to know the difference between cure (eradication) of the virus vs the control (what present treatments achieve)
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UeKgDvNHP8

Is there a cure for hepatitis B?

  • There is a difference between cure and control of hepatitis B.
  • The reason it cannot be cured is that the virus integrated into our DNA.
  • With current medicines only 1% can be cured.
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UeKgDvNHP8

Is it safe to vaccinate a pregnant lady for hepatitis B?

  • Yes, it is safe to be administered in a pregnant lady.

When should I have my final hepatitis B blood test after a potential exposure, to rule out that I am not infected?

  • It you had a potential exposure to hepatitis B, HBsAg will be positive by 6 months from exposure.
  • So it means it you are still negative by a test done by a good lab, you aren't infected.
  • Please get a test for hepatitis B immediately (to know if you were positive beforehand) and later at 6 months (to confirm that you have not got the virus)
  • Hepatitis B is transmitted by >90% efficacy through unsafe blood transfusion but risk is only about 30% with unsafe sexual practices.
  • Please vaccinate yourself if you are negative at 6 months.

Can you transfer Hepatitis B to your partner?

  • Yes it is possible to transmit hepatitis B.
  • Get your partner testes and vaccinate if negative.
  • Please refer to the below video for information on various routes of transmission.
  • www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbAuW6-d_Mg

Is it compulsory to check the antibody titre afer hep b vaccine? And who are the people for whom hep b vaccine doesnt work and why?

  • No it is not compulsory but it is preferred to check for the titer.
  • HepB vaccine works for >95% of the time. It is very safe and efficacious. It has lower effectiveness for patients with immunosuppressant states (diseases or medicines that reduce the body's natural immunity). These include chronic kidney disease, HIV etc. It still works at double the dose.

I'm hepatitis B positive. Can I marry and have children?

  • Don't let Hepatitis B come between your love.
  • Be smart
  • Test, disclose, and vaccinate your partner.
  • Please protect your loved ones by vaccinating them after a thorough check-up. It is possible to prevent transmission to spouse and to children.
  • It is also possible to lead a normal life if you are a carrier. Treatment of hepatitis B is simple. Regular visits to your doc is a must.
  • Please talk to your physician so your reports can be double checked to ensure you are indeed only a carrier.

What prevention should I take to have a 2nd baby, i.e. I am a hepatitis B patient?

The primary concern in a pregnant patient is prevention of transmission of hepatitis B from mother to baby.

For the mother:

  • Get yourself tested with HBV DNA levels at 24–28 weeks of pregnancy. You maybe required to be started on medications to control the virus if a high load is present so that it maybe reduced to a safe level at the time of delivery.

For the baby:

  • The vaccination and an immunoglobulin dose has to be given to the baby after birth as soon as possible- ideally within 12 hours. Both these have to be given together and are effective in 97% of cases. Breastfeeding is safe with hepatitis B and also safe if you are on medications.

For the spouse:

  • Test, disclose and vaccinate!
  • Be smart! Avoid hepatitis-B
  • #SafeLiver