Hepatitis B: What you need to know
Hepatitis B is spread through blood-to-blood contact and through sexual fluids (semen and vaginal fluids). Hepatitis B can be transmitted by: vertical transmission (from mother with hepatitis B to baby during birth) having unprotected sex (sex without a condom) having unprotected oral sex when there are open cuts, ulcers or sores in the mouth blood transfusions (performed in Australia before 1990 or currently overseas in countries that don’t screen blood or blood products) traditional or cultural ceremonies and blood rituals (using unsterilised equipment) occupational needle stick injury injecting drug use (sharing needles, filters, spoons, tourniquets or swabs) tattooing and body piercing (using unsterilised equipment) sharing personal grooming items (e.g. toothbrushes, razors or tweezers) Hepatitis B is not transmitted by social contact. Things such as sharing food, utensils, cups, plates, hugging, shaking hands, kissing, sneezing, tears, mosquitoes, pets, sharing toilets or showers cannot transmit hepatitis B.