In Australia there are over 210,000 people living with chronic (long-term) hepatitis B.
More than 20,000 are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
- Many people don't know they have chronic hepatitis B.
- Most people don't have any symptoms, yet liver damage can still happen.
There are easy steps you can take to protect you and your family against hepatitis-B-related liver cancer.
- Hepatitis B is a virus that can lead to liver damage and liver cancer.
- Up to 1 in 4 people with chronic hepatitis B will die from liver cancer.
- Vaccination can prevent hepatitis B infection and related liver cancer.
- People who were infected at birth or during childhood are more likely to have chronic hepatitis B, and develop liver damage and/or liver cancer.
- People with chronic hepatitis B can lead healthy lives. With regular tests every 6 months and treatment when needed, liver cancer can be prevented in the long run.
Download our Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer fact sheet
Look after your liver: It's important for you and your family to ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test
How do I know if I have hepatitis B?
Ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test
If you don't have hepatitis B, get vaccinated to prevent hepatitis B infection and related liver cancer
If you have chronic hepatitis B, get six-monthly check-ups and treatment when needed to cut liver cancer risk
If you're not sure if you've been tested or vaccinated in the past, we recommend you ask your doctor for a test.
It's important to ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test. Doctors may not include the hepatitis B test in their yearly health check-ups for you.
A simple blood test can tell you:
- if you need vaccination to protect you
- if you've been vaccinated and are protected
- if you have chronic hepatitis B and need further care.
Australia's had a free infant vaccination program since 2000. For adults, the hepatitis B vaccine is 3 doses given over 6 months and can protect you for life. Family, partners and people in close contact with someone who has hepatitis B can be vaccinated for free. But vaccination won't protect you if you already have chronic hepatitis B. This is why testing before vaccination is essential.
Where can I get more information?
- Talk to your doctor
- Read more about liver cancer or you can talk to one of our cancer nurses by ringing 13 11 20.
- To read more on hepatitis B testing and treatment visit Hepatitis Victoria or call the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 703 003.