Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Prevention Program

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department’s Hepatitis B Prevention Program works to address the burden of disease from chronic hepatitis B on Santa Clara County residents. 

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis B virus.  There is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent hepatitis B infection.

Hepatitis B can be spread in 3 ways:

  1. Birth: Hepatitis B can be spread from a woman with chronic hepatitis B to her child at birth.
  2. Blood: Hepatitis B can be spread through direct contact with contaminated blood, including shared needles and syringes.
  3. Sex: Hepatitis B can be spread through unprotected sexual contact with an infected person.

Testing For Hepatitis B

Studies have shown that while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) represent 5% of the total U.S. population, they make up 50% of hepatitis B cases. Nearly 2 in 3 people living with chronic hepatitis B do not know they are infected. Testing for chronic hepatitis B plays an important role in the detection, classification, management and medical care for patients with hepatitis B.

Testing for Hepatitis B is recommended for: 

  • People born in Asia, Africa, and other regions with moderate or high rates of Hepatitis B 
  • Unvaccinated people whose parents are from regions with high rates of Hepatitis B 
  • Anyone having sex with a person infected with Hepatitis B 
  • People who live with someone with Hepatitis B 
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men 
  • People who inject drugs 
  • All pregnant women 
  • People with HIV infection 
  • People on hemodialysis 
  • People who receive chemotherapy or other types of immunosuppressive therapy

Effective January 1, 2022, AB 789 requires all primary care providers to offer screening tests for hepatitis B and hepatitis C to adults receiving primary care, to the extent these services are covered under the patient's health insurance, consistent with U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations. 

Take a Risk Assessment

Most people with chronic hepatitis B infection appear healthy and do not exhibit any symptoms. You can take a short risk assessment to see if you are at risk for chronic hepatitis B infection. The only way to diagnose hepatitis B is by a blood test. 

If you do not have insurance, you can contact the following clinics to ask about free or low-cost screening:

Asian American Community Involvement (AACI)
2400 Moorpark Avenue, Suite 319
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone: (408) 975-2763​
Pacific Free Clinic
1835 Cunningham Avenue
San Jose, CA 95122
Phone: (650)721-2786
North East Medical Services
1715 Lundy Avenue
San Jose, CA 95131
Phone: (408) 573-9686
El Camino Hospital
Registration is required.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (650) 988-3234

Vaccine Recommendations

Under the Affordable Care Act, hepatitis B screening and vaccination are covered without cost-sharing under most insurance plans. Ask your doctor about a hepatitis B test. The best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated. The Hepatitis B vaccine is typically given as a series of 3 shots over a period of 6 months. The entire series is needed for long-term protection.

  • Infants and Children
    • The vaccination schedule used for recommendations in the US includes vaccination with at least 3 doses of HBV vaccine starting at birth
    • If these doses are not administered when a child is a baby, they are recommended to follow a “catch up” schedule and get them through age 18
  • Students in California
  • Adults: The vaccine is recommended for people living with someone infected with Hepatitis B, travelers to certain countries, and healthcare and public safety workers exposed to blood. People with high-risk sexual behaviors, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people who have certain medical conditions, including diabetes, should talk to their doctor about getting vaccinated.

Treatment Resources

  • Treatment Tool: Asian Liver Center Chronic Hepatitis B Treatment Decision Tool For Adults

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