Who is at risk of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood or bodily fluid of an infected person. 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 has 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. With regular monitoring hepatitis B can be successfully managed.


© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016