Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that infects and can damage the liver. It is passed from one person to another through blood, semen or vaginal fluids.
Most people with chronic hepatitis B were infected during childbirth, in an area of the world where hepatitis B is common.
To connect with other people searching for help, check out the Hep Free NYC network of patients and providers.
These locations offer free and low-cost hepatitis B testing and treatment, as well as patient navigators who can provide support for you throughout the process.
These facilities do not accept walk-in visits. You must call or email to make an appointment.
For more locations in the city offering hepatitis B testing and treatment, search the NYC Health Map.
The best way to avoid hepatitis B is to get vaccinated. The hepatitis B vaccine series is recommended for all infants starting at birth. The vaccine is required for children entering school in the city.
Some adults are at risk for getting hepatitis B. It is especially important to get vaccinated if:
To learn how and where to get tested or vaccinated for hepatitis B:
If you think you have been recently exposed to hepatitis B, you can get a shot that can prevent infection. For more information, talk to your doctor or go to a local emergency room.
There are two phases of a hepatitis B infection:
Chronic hepatitis B can cause permanent damage to the liver, leading to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
You can help manage this disease by keeping your liver healthy. You should avoid alcohol and maintain a healthy diet and body weight.
You can prevent passing along hepatitis B by making sure other people do not come into contact with your blood or sexual fluids. Cover any cut in your skin and do not share personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors or sex toys. Do not share needles or other medical or injection supplies. Use condoms when you have sex.
If you are living with chronic hepatitis B, you should talk to your doctor about treatment options. They may prescribe an anti-viral pill for you to take regularly that can slow the progression of liver disease.
You can find low-cost care and treatment for hepatitis B using our NYC Health Map.