Hepatitis B: Overview, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment & Complications

When you’re exposed to someone with hepatitis or think you may have been, not knowing if the condition is present can be frightening. Waiting for weeks to obtain lab results when you go through your doctor can compound the stress. At STD Authority, we provide our clients with an alternative for hepatitis testing.

If you suspect you may have hepatitis, you probably have a lot of questions. We’ve put together some of the most common questions our counselors hear and their answers:

What is Hepatitis B?

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) attacks the liver. HBV is divided into two groups: acute and chronic. Acute patients are usually free from the disease within six months, while the chronic patients (generally those who developed HBV in infancy) generally have the disease for life.

Do I have Hepatitis?

Take our quick quiz to find out if you could have Hepatitis, including individual recommendations!

Hepatitis Symptom Checker


There are a number of ways that HBV is transmitted, though all have to do with being in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person:

Mother to child - Children born with HBV are the most likely to have a chronic condition, so prompt treatment is necessary.

Through contaminated needles - Generally occurs when IV drug users share needles or medical employees accidentally stick themselves with used needles.

Sexual contact

  • Anal Sex
  • Oral Sex
  • Vaginal Sex
  • Shared sexual devices (if not cleaned properly)
Mark Riegel, MD

Quick snapshot

Can it be cured?

No. Acute HBV will resolve itself within six months; chronic HBV is generally a life-long condition.

Type of Infection

Viral. The Hepatitis B virus infects the liver.

How is treated?

Antiviral Medicine. A single dose of Azithromycin or seven daily doses of Doxycycline.

Recovery Time

Upto 6 Months. An acute case of HBV is usually over within six months.

Can I have sex?

No. It is recommended that sexual intercourse is avoided until you are free from the disease.

Can I get re-infected?

No. Once you have had an acute HBV infection, you cannot get it again, though you can still contract other types of hepatitis.