Hepatitis B is a serious liver condition caused by a virus.

Hepatitis B is not as common in the UK as in other parts of the world, but some groups of people are at higher risk of infection.

These are:

  • Men who have sex with men.
  • Injecting drug users.
  • People who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

What are the symptoms?

Most people infected with Hepatitis B are unaware of it or the symptoms are so mild that they do not see a doctor

Symptoms include:

  • Flu like symptoms (tiredness, aches)
  • Diarrhoea or pale stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the eyes)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite


Hepatitis B is a “silent infection” that can infect you without you knowing it.


How is it passed on?

It is transmitted through blood and infected bodily fluids such as semen and vaginal fluid.

It can be passed on through blood to blood contact

Sharing needles or works

Sharing toothbrushes or razors with infected blood on them

Tattoos and piercings using unsterilized equipment

Through childbirth by an infected mother 


How do I protect myself?

Use condoms and dams for intercourse and oral sex

Don’t share needles or works

Don’t share toothbrushes or razors

Get vaccinated

Make sure your booster is up to date


If I am HIV+?

Around 5% of HIV+ people are also infected with Hepatitis B

Coinfection is called HBV/HIV coinfection

If you are HIV+ you can still be vaccinated against Hepatitis B 


Who should get vaccinated?

Men who have sex with men.

Injecting drug users.

People who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Vaccinations are free for these groups.


Vaccination what happens?

A blood test to see if you are already infected or may be immune.

There are three initial injections, these are on

Day(s) 0, 7 and 21

A booster after one year

Booster every 5 years thereafter

(These may vary slightly dependant on where you receive your vaccination)


Where do I get vaccinated?

You can get free vaccinations from:

  • Sexual Health Clinics
  • Drug Services
  • GP Surgeries


Additional resources

Posters are available to download by clicking on each of the pdfs below and if you would like to order any resources to help us promote this campaign, please email [email protected]. There are business cards, pre-printed posters and web banners available.

Poster 1     Poster 2     Poster 3     Poster 4

For a pdf download of this page please click here.


Links for more information:

NHS Choices - Hepatitis B

British Liver Trust - Hepatitis B