Hepatitis B

Virus de l'hépatite B au microscope électronique. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is caused by a virus called HBV. A very frequent disease, often without symptoms, it can result in digestive problems, nausea and vomiting, and, in the most serious cases, become a chronic disease that can rarely cause death.

A sexually transmitted disease

Hepatitis B is transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse (semen, vaginal secretions, saliva) and through blood. For transmission to occur, one of these body fluids from an infected person must come into contact with the blood of the uninfected person.

Prevention, treatment

A condom is the most effective way to protect yourself during sex.

In addition, a vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982. This has given rise to controversy (it was suspected of causing multiple sclerosis), but no scientific study has been able to establish a causal link between the vaccine and multiple sclerosis.

When you are infected, there is no treatment to follow, except a few recommendations (such as stopping alcohol). In 90% of cases, the disease progresses to a cure. In the remaining 10%, it becomes a chronic disease, of which the people affected are carriers for life (without necessarily being sick). In these latter cases, there are drug treatments to contain the effects of the infection.