Hepatitis B is...
Hepatitis B is the worlds most common liver infection. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can attack and injure the liver. HBV is transmitted through blood and infected bodily fluids. This can occur through direct blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex, reusing needles, and from an infected woman to her newborn during the delivery process.
- Two billion people around the world (almost 1 out of 3 persons) have been infected with hepatitis B.
- Each year, there are 10-30 million new infections worldwide.
- In the U.S., there are approximately 1.25 million people who are chronically infected with hepatitis B, and there are almost 100,000 new infections each year.
- Hepatitis B is a silent disease, which means that someone can be infected for years, even decades, without having any symptoms. During this time, the virus can be silently causing damage to the liver. Most people do not have symptoms until they already have liver damage.