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A 58-year-old male asked:

Can hepatits b be caused by chronic alcohol abuse, and is there a cure for it? i am a recovering alcoholic, sober for 12 years.no history of heavy drug use, no needles whatsoever.quite a past in the sex department, although only 3 partners in sobriety(12

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Laura McMullen
Pediatrics 21 years experience
I : I added a link below from the center of disease control that may answer all of your questions in depth. To summarize: you can only catch hepatitis b from: - birth - mom to baby transmission - sharing needles with an infected person - having sex with an infected person - being in direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person - sharing a tooth brush or razor with an infected person (because of bleeding with those 2 activities) you cannot catch hepatitis b through breastfeeding, drinking, saliva, sharing utensils, hugging, kissing, touching, coughing or sneezing. 6-10% of adults with hepatitis b go on to have chronic hepatitis b (that means in 90-94% of people, it just goes away). 15-25% of people with chronic hepatitis b will go on to have liver disease.
Dr. John Fung
General Surgery 39 years experience
Hepatitis : Hepatitis b virus (hbv) affects about 2-4% of the us population and is mostly seen in patients immigrating from endemic areas (asia, south america), and in patients infected by sexual, mother-to-offspring and sharing of contaminated needles. Transmission by blood transfusions is extremely rare, given the sensitivity and completeness of testing by blood banks. It is likely that you acquired hbv thru sexual exposure, if you are a carrier, you can spread this also thru sexual contact. Transmission can be prevented by vaccination of non-infected individuals with hbv vaccines, which is now mandatory in childhood. Chronic carriers are at risk for cirrhosis and liver cancer. Treatment has greatly improved with the availability of compounds called nucleoside or nucleotide analogs that inhibit hbv virus replication. This treatment can reduce the risk of cirrhosis, infectivity to others and the risk for liver cancer. You should see a hepatologist to see if you need to be treated and if so, what treatment is best for you.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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