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Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver and it is estimated that 350 million people worldwide are infected with this virus, which causes around 620.000 deaths every year. Studies show that about 1.4 million Americans are chronic carriers and the infection rate with this virus is higher amongst people aged 25 to 44 and lower for individuals younger than 15.


Hepatitis BThus, these rates reflect the major mode of how the virus is transmitted – sexual transmission, drug use and infected blood. Unfortunately, the early symptoms of the virus can be non-specific and can be confused with the flu. They include fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea and fatigue. Thus if you have an active sexual life or you got in contact with needles, you should search for STD testing centers or STD testing clinics and have a test, as the sooner you discover the disease, the faster and easier you can get cured.

The infection with the virus has two stages:

1. Acute: this stage refers to newly acquired infections. The individuals that were affected by the hepatitis B virus will develop and notice symptoms roughly 1 to 4 months after the virus first entered the body. In some cases, people with acute hepatitis will be able to eliminate the virus and get cured of the infection. Others, however, are not able to do so and develop a life-threatening severe infection, called fulminant hepatitis.

2. Chronic: this stage refers to an infection with hepatitis B that last for more than six months. In addition, once the infection is chronic, there is a high chance that it will never go away completely. This is why you should make an STD test as soon as you can, so you can diagnose the hepatitis virus in its early stage.

Studies show that approximately two thirds of the people that have chronic hepatitis B are also chronic carriers and they do not develop any symptom, but they harbor the virus and will transmit it to other people. The other part of people who have chronic hepatitis will develop “active” hepatitis, which is a very serious disease of the liver. Even though the liver has an incredible ability to hear itself, a long term inflammation with the virus can result in a permanent damage. Moreover, the chronic hepatitis B can lead to cirrhosis – which can lead to liver failure – and a form a liver cancer, known as hepatocellular carcinoma.

The virus is mainly spread by exposing yourself to body secretions or infected blood. In all the individuals who had been infected, the virus will be found in the semen, blood, breast milk, vaginal discharges and saliva. In the United States, the virus is most commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse, followed injecting drugs, tattooing and even acupuncture.

To sum up, hepatitis B is a dangerous disease that can be cured fairly easy if you do an STD testing and discover early on that you have it. In addition, you should make a vaccine against the disease to prevent the infection in the first place.