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  2. Living with Hep B
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Should I get tested?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. Left unmanaged, hepatitis B can lead to serious liver disease such as liver failure and liver cancer.

There are 200,380 Australians living with hepatitis B, including 10,120 in South Australia.

3 in 10 Australians with hepatitis B don't know they have it.

You may have hepatitis B and not know it. The Hepatitis B virus is carried in the blood and in body fluids. Most people with chronic hepatitis B got it during birth from mothers who had hepatitis B, with people from regions of high prevalence at greater risk.

High prevalence regions include:

  • East Asia
  • South East Asia
  • Remote Aboriginal communities
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Parts of South America

You can also get hepatitis B from:

  • unprotected sex with someone with hepatitis B.
  • open cuts or wounds that have been exposed to the blood of someone with the virus.
  • medical, dental, tattooing, body art, or cosmetic procedures with unsterile equipment, especially in regions of high prevalence.

Consider getting tested if you don't know whether you have hepatitis B and:

  • you or your family come from a region of high prevalence, or
  • someone in your family or household has hepatitis B.

For more information on hepatitis B testing visit our Hepatitis B Testing page.

How do I get tested?

Ask your doctor for a test.

If you have hepatitis B and your family members have not been tested or vaccinated, talk to your doctor about testing for your family.

If you need help finding a GP, call Hepatitis SA on 1800 437 222 for a referral.

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