Although it is a common disease most people know very little about hepatitis B. They might have ideas that aren’t true and this can be upsetting or worrying.
Doctors have checked that all of this information is true.
FACT Hepatitis B is mainly picked up at birth or in childhood. However you got hepatitis B, it isn’t your fault.
FACT Hepatitis B is one of the most common viral infections in the world, so you are not alone.
FACT People living with hepatitis B have children and a normal family life. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to stop the virus being passed on.
FACT Hepatitis B can be treated and controlled.
FACT You cannot pass on hepatitis B by sharing a meal.
FACT You can hug your family and friends. Hepatitis B is passed on through blood so hugging does not pass it on.
FACT You can usually work as a doctor or nurse, or in any other health and care job, if your hepatitis B is well-controlled.
You can read more about the UK rules for healthcare workers living with hepatitis B on the government website.
Read our advice and information on dealing with hurtful comments .
I lived with the stigma of Hep B for more than 30 years, please do not do the same. On reflection, if I had not felt so ‘ashamed’ of being born a carrier, I may have been more proactive in getting medical advice.
How does hepatitis B cause liver disease?
Published July 2023
Review due: July 2026