Can chronic hepatitis B and C be prevented?

Chronic hepatitis B
Yes, both acute and chronic hepatitis B can be prevented. The Hepatitis B vaccine can be given to most infants, children and adults, and is the only way to prevent hepatitis B infection. You can help prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus by avoiding the following behaviors:

  • Unprotected contact with blood and bodily fluids
  • Unprotected sex with multiple partners
  • Exposure toor frequent contact with blood
  • Giving or receive tattoos
  • Sharing needles or personal hygiene products such as razors and toothbrushes

To protect infants from the chronic form of hepatitis B, newborns are usually given the first of three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccination schedule is usually completed within six months of the first dose.

Chronic hepatitis C
There is no vaccine to prevent chronic hepatitis C infection. The best way to help prevent chronic hepatitis C infection is to avoid contact with infected blood. Do not share needles, razors, nail clippers or other personal hygiene products. Use bleach to disinfect objects and areas contaminated with blood. Practice safe sex, particularly if you have multiple partners and don't know your partners' hepatitis C status, and avoid getting piercings or tattoos unless you know the equipment is sterilized. Frequent hand washing is also recommended to help avoid infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.