Broader Screening Recommended for Hepatitis B

New recommendations issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force broaden screening of Hepatitis B to include certain people considered to be at high risk for infection with the disease.

Hepatitis B, a liver infection spread by blood or other body fluids, or from an infected woman to her baby, affects two billion people around the world. That includes 10 to 30 million in the U.S., a quarter of whom die from resulting complications.

Those considered at high risk for the virus include:

  • Adolescents and adults who were not vaccinated as children
  • People born in countries with a high rate of Hepatitis B infection
  • People whose parents were born in countries with high infection rates
  • People with HIV
  • People who use injection drugs
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who live with, or are having sex with, someone who is infected with Hepatitis B
  • Patients with weakened immune systems or who are undergoing kidney dialysis

Find more information in the May 27 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.