Hepatitis B is a highly contagious virus that attacks the liver and is 100 times more infectious than HIV.
Anyone can get hepatitis B who:
- is sexually active
- has unprotected sex
- has more than one sex partner
- has another STD
- shares needles
- works in health care
- lives with someone who has Hepatitis B
The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 20 people in the U.S. will have hepatitis B in their lifetime. Hepatitis B is common on college campuses. Currently there is no cure and the treatment is rest and eating a high protein, high carbohydrate diet. The good news is there is a vaccine that provides protection from the disease.
Vaccine: The vaccine is given in three intra-muscular injections (in your arm). It is important to get all three doses for full protection from Hepatitis B. The vaccine has proven to be very safe for both children and adults, with few side effects.
For more information about Hepatitis B, and to either start your vaccine series or complete it, come to the Student Health Service during operating hours. The vaccine is available for full time and part-time students (taking 5 or more credit hours or who have paid the health fee). Each dose is $40.24 ($120.72 for the series of three).
The National Center for Infectious Diseases has additional information on prevention, control, and elimination of the various strains of Hepatitis.