Who is at risk?

Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood or bodily fluid of someone with the virus. About 100,000 people in New Zealand are chronically infected with hepatitis B.

Acute hepatitis B can be caused by:

  • Unprotected sexual contact with an infected person
  • Injecting drugs
  • Receiving a tattoo using unsterile equipment.

You have an increased risk of contracting hepatitis B if you:

  • are of Māori, Pacific Island or east Asian ethnicity
  • have a mother or close family member with hepatitis B
  • live with someone who has hepatitis B.

Talk to your doctor about getting tested. Testing is very important as the virus often begins damaging the liver before any symptoms appear. Hepatitis B can be successfully managed with regular monitoring.


© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016