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Hepatitis B (Hep B or HBV)

Chronic Hepatitis B (also known Hep B or HBV) infection is an important cause of advanced liver disease and liver cancer worldwide. It is caused by a virus. The most common source of the virus is from the patient's mother. The infection usually occurs during childbirth.

In 2020, there were an estimated 222,559 people living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection in Australia, representing 0.9% of the population. Only 73% of people living with CHB in Australia are estimated to have been diagnosed.

Like most liver diseases, Hepatitis B usually progresses in different stages. Progression usually occurs with ongoing inflammation. A proportion of patients will develop liver cancer, cirrhosis and end stage liver disease.

Hepatitis B is treatable. A combination of physical examination, blood tests, Fibroscan and imaging is used to determine the stage of the disease. Fibroscan can help provide information about liver fat content (steatosis) and degree of scarring (fibrosis).

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