Why take the Hepatitis B Vaccine?
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver infection caused by hepatitis B virus. The disease might got better within a few weeks, or often, remain in your body for as long as you live. In a lot of cases, the symptoms remain dormant and left unnoticed. Unfortunately for that reason, many people (2 out of 3 people) with chronic hepatitis B infection do not know they are infected. The infection could silently, but eventually, progress. Therefore, leading to permanent liver damage (60-70%), liver cancer (5-20%), or death (780 thousand deaths annually worldwide). It is important to keep in mind that chronically-infected people can still spread hepatitis B virus to others, despite of feeling well.
Who are at risk? Are you not? Are you sure?
- If you had sex with an infected partner – not sure if your partner infected or not? Well, you can take your spouse to the doctor for a checkup. Suppose the result comes positive, you can start the treatment early. Suppose the result comes back negative, this is the time for both of you to get the hepatitis B vaccine.
- If you have multiple sex partners. Obviously, you can’t really make sure that each and every one of them is free from hepatitis B. Why don’t you make sure that you are not infected by protecting yourselves with a simple vaccination?
- If you share needles and drugs equipment. Maybe accidentally – at work. People who work at medical facilities are at high risk to be exposed to blood of bodily fluid that may contain hepatitis B. You may be familiar with your precaution protocols, but once you get infected you can never go back.
- Easily overlooked, little things. Such as sharing a toothbrush or razor with an infected spouse or roommate, getting a shave at a barber shop, or even sharing sexual toys are also a high risk of transmission.
- If you are a hemodialysis patients, or have been requiring blood transfusion (a small percentage, but still likely). Nobody wants to suffer from a kidney disease or a bad accident that requires them to take other person’s blood into their bodies. However, you don’t know when you will need them. More importantly if the blood has hepatitis B virus in it or not. Hepatitis B vaccine can give you the ability to recognize and attack the virus when it enters your body.
Not So Fun Fact
- Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than HIV
- Mothers with Hepatitis B + are very likely to give birth to a Hepatitis B + baby (70-90%)
- There are no cure for Hepatitis B infection
- 1 year initial treatment (medication only) to suppress the infection ranges from IDR 120,000,000 to IDR. 250,000,000. Cirrhosis patients up to IDR. 850,000,000.
- Want to add some more facts we might have missed? Or share your personal story? Comment below!