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Learn More About Risk Factors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that any person who wants protection from hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B infection should talk to their healthcare provider to see if vaccination is appropriate.

The CDC also recommends that some people with certain risk factors get vaccinated against hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B.

Please talk to your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about whether or not you are at risk for hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B.

If any of the following apply to you, ask your healthcare provider if hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccination is recommended:


Diabetes

If you have diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider to see if hepatitis B vaccination is right for you.

If you have diabetes and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B, you should talk to your healthcare provider to see if vaccination is right for you. Vaccination is recommended for adults 19-59 years of age who have been diagnosed with diabetes. People 60 and older with diabetes should ask their healthcare provider if vaccination is recommended.

Why?

The risk of getting hepatitis B is a special concern among people living with diabetes. This is because hepatitis B virus can be spread through contact with infected blood. People living with diabetes are at increased risk for hepatitis B.


Outbreaks of hepatitis B infection in patients with diabetes have happened in different types of healthcare settings—including assisted living communities, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes (for example, when blood glucose meters and other diabetes care equipment were not well disinfected (cleaned) and shared between patients).


Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can cause serious illness.

Learn more.

Chronic Liver Disease

If you have a chronic liver disease, such as cirrhosis, the hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccine may be recommended for you.

If you have chronic liver disease (such as cirrhosis of the liver) and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B, you should talk to your healthcare provider to see if vaccination is right for you.

Why?

People living with chronic liver disease can become very sick—and even die—if they become infected with the hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B virus. Experts say it is best for people with chronic liver disease to get the hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccine as early in the course of their disease as possible. This is because patients with milder chronic liver disease respond better to these vaccines than they do later, when their disease has progressed.


People who get sick with hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B don't always know how they came in contact with these viruses. Even if you do not think you are at higher risk for getting hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B infection (due to your lifestyle or other factors), it is a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about vaccination.


Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can cause serious illness.

Learn more.

International Travel

If you travel outside the US for business or pleasure, the hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccine may be recommended for you.

If you will be traveling to places outside the US and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B, you should talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. If vaccination is recommended, you will want to leave yourself enough time before your trip to get the needed shot(s).

Why?

Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are more common in certain parts of the world. Many countries are considered “intermediate” to “high” risk for these viruses. That means your risk of getting sick from hepatitis A or hepatitis B could be higher, depending on where you travel.


You can check your travel destination for specific disease risks and vaccine recommendations here


Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. That means you can get hepatitis A by eating foods or drinking water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. The hepatitis A virus can be spread when an infected food handler prepares meals or when sanitation is poor and the drinking water has been contaminated. These conditions can occur in major cities and major hotel chains and restaurants, not just in poor or rural areas abroad.


Hepatitis B is spread when people come in contact with infected blood, blood products, and other body fluids (such as semen).


The hepatitis B virus can be spread during medical, dental, or cosmetic procedures (tattooing or body piercing). This can happen when tools are used that have not been properly sterilized (cleaned). It can also happen if blood that has not been properly screened is given to a person in a medical emergency. Engaging in casual and unprotected sex can also be risky in places where hepatitis B is more common.


Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can cause serious illness.

Learn more.

Sexual Activity

If you are sexually active, the hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B vaccine may be recommended for you.

If you haven't been vaccinated against hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B and fall into one of these categories, you should talk to your healthcare provider about getting vaccinated.

  • You have a sexual partner infected with hepatitis A or hepatitis B
  • You are sexually active and not in a long-term relationship
  • You have seen a doctor for diagnosis or treatment of a sexually transmitted disease (for example, genital herpes or gonorrhea)
  • Men who have sex with men

Why?

One of the most common ways that people in the US become infected with hepatitis A and/or hepatitis B is through sexual activity (heterosexual or homosexual) with an infected person.


Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can cause serious illness.

Learn more.