How do I catch it?
Hepatitis B is present in bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, saliva and blood.
It is transmitted through unprotected sex or sharing needles for injecting drugs. Infected mothers can also transmit hepatitis B to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. For this reason, all pregnant women in the UK are tested for hepatitis B.
- You are at particular risk of catching hepatitis B if:
- You have unprotected sex with various partners.
- You work closely with blood and/or other bodily fluids.
- You use needles for tattooing, piercing or acupuncture that have not been sterilised.
- You share equipment for drug taking, including spoons, filters and needles.
- You have “rough” sex that causes tears in the skin.
There is also a small risk of catching hepatitis B from sharing towels, razors and toothbrushes that might be contaminated with blood.