Facts for the Hepatitis B Carrier
Most Hepatitis B carriers do not feel or look sick and will never suffer from any health problems associated with Hepatitis B. However, some carriers have an increased risk of becoming sick with liver disease. Carriers need to have the regular care of a doctor.
People who are not exposed to your or body fluids are not at risk for catching Hepatitis B from you. Therefore, you do not need to mention your infection to your employers, co workers or people you are in casual contact with. It is okay to share meals with family and friends.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF:
† Avoid alcohol because it can damage your liver.
† Tell your doctor that you are a Hepatitis B carrier. Discuss with your doctor any recommended treatment or tests and the need to avoid certain medications.
† If you inject (shoot) drugs, you could catch a more severe form of hepatitis. Get help from a drug treatment centre to get off drugs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT OTHERS:
Remember, carriers may feel healthy but can still spread the Hepatitis B infection to other people.
People who may be exposed to your blood or certain body fluids are at risk of becoming infected with Hepatitis B. To protect others you should:
† Make sure your sexual partner(s) and all household members see a doctor for testing and immunisation (protective shots) against Hepatitis B.
† Tell your sex partner that you have Hepatitis B and use a latex condom every time you have sex until that person can be tested and immunised against Hepatitis B.
† If you are pregnant, it is important to tell your doctor that you are a carrier so that your new baby is started on Hepatitis B immunisations immediately at birth. It is okay to breastfeed if your baby has started the Hepatitis B immunisations.
† Never share syringes and needles.
† Never donate blood, plasma, body organs, tissue or sperm.
† As with many types of infections, good hygiene offers the best protection to others.
† Never share cigarettes, toothbrushes, razors, scissors, nail files or clippers, needles (for ear piercing or shooting drugs), or anything that may have come in contact with your blood.
† Cover all cuts, blisters, and open sores with a bandage.
† Wash hands well after touching your blood.
† Clean up blood spills. Then re-clean the area with a diluted household bleach solution (one part bleach mixed with 9 parts of water).