Skip to Content

SHARE

Hepatitis B: How to Avoid Spreading the Virus

Topic Overview

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

  • Inform the people you live with and/or have sex with about your illness as soon as possible. If you have long-term (chronic) HBV infection, you can infect others with the virus even if you have no symptoms of illness.
  • Do not donate blood or blood products, organs, semen, or eggs (ova).
  • Stop all sexual activity or use latex condoms until your doctor has told you that you can no longer give hepatitis B to others. People with chronic HBV infection should always use condoms during any sexual activity.
  • Do not share your personal toiletry articles, such as razors, toothbrushes, towels, or nail files, with anyone else.
  • Try to minimize chapped skin by using a moisturizer. Chapping can lead to breaks in the skin, which can expose others to your blood.
  • Advise your doctor, dentist, and anyone else who may come in contact with your blood about your illness.
  • If you are pregnant, tell the health professional who will deliver your baby about your illness. Be sure your baby gets hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and the first shot of the hepatitis B vaccination series within 12 hours after birth. Make sure your baby gets the rest of the hepatitis B vaccine shots on schedule.
  • Children who have hepatitis B should be taught not to bite or scratch others.
  • Clean or carefully dispose of your clothing or other articles that become soiled with your blood.
  • Clean toilet seats, countertops, floors, and other surfaces that have your blood or any other body fluid (semen and vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood) on them with a solution of bleach and water. To dilute household bleach, follow the directions on the label.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: June 9, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine
W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.