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possibility of contracting hep b
Oct 16, 2011

Dr McGovern:

Thanks for taking the time to answer all the question. I have looked everywhere, but i wasn't able to find any answer to my question. So, I was wondering if you can help me. My boyfriend has hep b. We have always practice safe sex. However, I am worried that if there is semen on the bed or on me, I will then become a vector to pass hep b onto others. Can you let me know if indirect contact like that can transmit hep b? Also, how long does hep b virus actually live on surface (I looked at different resources, they all gave me different answers)? Thank you very much for you time.

Response from Dr. McGovern

THe most important thing you should do is get vaccinated against hepatitis B. This vaccine is very effective. You should also get blood testing about 1 month after finishing the vaccine to be certain you have mounted protective antibodies.

I have also read about different times that HBV may live on surfaces, but there is no good proof of environmental spread of HBV. I would focus on what we do know well - that HBV is transmitted efficiently through sex and through injection drug use. Also avoid sharing of razors or toothbrushes which can be vehicles of blood transfer.



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