There is an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide who are infected with hepatitis B. The virus is spread through contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person, such as through sexual intercourse, childbirth, or tattooing.
Hepatitis B can be a very serious disease if not caught early and treated early on. There are two types of hepatitis B: viral and chronic. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and even death . Fortunately, there is good news: there is a vaccine that can protect you against becoming infected with the hepatitis B virus. However, some people – about one in six adults – do not respond to this vaccination and are still at risk of being infected with the virus because they are already hepatitis B carriers. These people are called “hepatitis B carrier” or “hepatitis-B positive”.
Carrier status means your genes have been passed down from your parents so that they also share these traits. They may not show any symptoms of being a carrier but they do put them at risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B if they have unprotected sex or share drinks or food with someone who is already infected.
If you’re wondering what it means to be a Hepatitis-B Carrier , keep reading to find out more!
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a blood-borne virus that infection can be both contagious and self-limited, meaning it goes away on its own. However, for some people, the hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection leaves them permanently scarred, or even causes them to develop cirrhosis of the liver (the “hepatitis C” variant).
The hepatitis B virus is usually transmitted from an infected person who was born into a hepatitis B surface-bound mother; prenatal exposure as well as sexual intercourse are also potential transmission routes. The incubation period for HBV is about a week to three weeks after exposure. Once contracted, HBV cannot be effectively treated with antibiotics — this is because the HBV persists in the body and causes chronic inflammation of the liver.
You may have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus if you had unprotected vaginal or anal sex with an infected person or were exposed through blood transfusion or organ transplantation. It can also be spread by sharing needles and other injection equipment used by drug users, especially if they share their equipment several times per day.
In fact, studies have shown that up to 90 percent of intravenous drug users will become infected at some point in their lives — so it’s not just current and former addicts who are at risk! If you have exposure documented as early as possible after learning about your risk factors above, there are ways to protect yourself.
What does Hepatitis B Carrier mean?
Hepatitis B carrier is someone who has been exposed to HepB vaccine but does not have symptoms of the virus.
This means that the blood test for hepatitis B may show no sign of the virus, even though the person may have been exposed to it and developed symptoms. This can happen if the person had a previous exposure to hepatitis B as an infant or child, or any other reason for not being able to develop antibodies in response.
We hope this explains the Hepatitis B carrier meaning. For more information don’t hesitate to take a look at what our experts say in other articles!