Hepatitis B Prevention Program

Hepatitis B (HBV) is an infectious liver disease; it can be an acute or chronic infection. Chronic infections can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and premature death. HBV is transmitted through contact with infectious blood or body fluids or from a person who is infected (HBsAg+) to their newborn during delivery. Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccines that are safe, available and effective. Here are resources to address the burden and work to prevent chronic hepatitis B on Santa Clara County residents. 

Testing For HBV

Studies have shown that while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) represent 5% of the total U.S. population, they make up 50% of hepatitis B cases. Nearly 2 in 3 people living with chronic hepatitis B do not know they are infected. Testing for chronic hepatitis B plays an important role in the detection, classification, management and medical care for patients with hepatitis B.

Testing for Hepatitis B is recommended for: 

  • People born in Asia, Africa, and other regions with moderate or high rates of Hepatitis B 
  • Unvaccinated people whose parents are from regions with high rates of Hepatitis B 
  • Anyone having sex with a person infected with Hepatitis B 
  • People who live with someone with Hepatitis B 
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men 
  • People who inject drugs 
  • All pregnant women 
  • People with HIV infection 
  • People on hemodialysis 
  • People who receive chemotherapy or other types of immunosuppressive therapy

Effective January 1, 2022, AB 789 requires all primary care providers to offer screening tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C to adults receiving primary care, to the extent these services are covered under the patient's health insurance, consistent with U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. 

Hepatitis B Serologic Test Results

Hepatitis B serologic testing involves measurement of several hepatitis B virus (HBV)-specific antigens and antibodies. Different serologic “markers” or combinations of markers are used to identify different phases of HBV infection and to determine whether a patient has acute or chronic HBV infection, is immune to HBV as a result of prior infection or vaccination, or is susceptible to infection. 

Reporting Test Results 

Vaccine Recommendations

The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated. The Hepatitis B vaccine is typically given as a series of 3 shots over a period of 6 months. The entire series is needed for long-term protection.

  • Infants and Children
    • The vaccination schedule used for recommendations in the US includes vaccination with at least 3 doses of HBV vaccine starting at birth
    • If these doses are not administered when a child is a baby, they are recommended to follow a “catch up” schedule and get them through age 18
  • Students in California
  • Adults: The vaccine is recommended for people living with someone infected with Hepatitis B, travelers to certain countries, and healthcare and public safety workers exposed to blood. People with high-risk sexual behaviors, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people who have certain medical conditions, including diabetes, should talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated.

Treatment Resources

  • Physician's Guide: This popular handbook features new updates to provide physicians with the latest information on the prevalence, mode of transmission, immunization, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, screening, monitoring and treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. 
  • Treatment Tool: Asian Liver Center Chronic Hepatitis B Treatment Decision Tool For Adults

 


County of Santa Clara Hepatitis B Prevention Program
976 Lenzen Avenue, Suite 1100
San Jose, CA 95126
Tel: (408) 792-5007
Fax: (408) 947-8752

 

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