Hepatitis B and Relationships
Sadly many people diagnosed with Hepatitis B or C think they have something a bit like HIV and become depressed in sexual relationships and scared of starting them or failing if already in one. This is wrong Hepatitis B is mainly caught by children and Hepatitis C is mainly caught by healthcare patients.
Neither Virus is anything like the HIV sexual disease, with Hepatitis C there is no evidence of it being sexually infectious or even in the sexual fluids and with Hepatitis B only 1 in 10 people have a high enough viral load to have infectious sexual fluids.
Over 10 years of running a national helpline for hepatitis patients I have spoken to thousands about the relationship aspect, for Africans especially the problems of HIV are often what they are thinking. For Asians there is a terrible sense of silence and shame, often due to their nations of origin using words like carriers and ostracising patients before the vaccination became available.
With Hepatitis B it is now far easier, tell any potential partner there is a totally effective vaccination, it really is that simple. Then when the children arrive get them vaccinated too. Using condoms is advised for HBV patients but never a substitute for getting a partner HBV quickly vaccinated.
This how we got hundreds of couples married who have called our helpline over the years. Certainly there are people with phobias who will run away from us but we have noted nearly all partners are most happy to get vaccinated and safe from Hepatitis B and most partners realise the science that Hepatitis B is not a stigma but a very common child infection worldwide.
It is always best to be honest, but we find the problem is often the patient with hepatitis B has not studied or understood it properly and then the partner ends up googling and thinking whatever they can work out. This is further compounded by patients not being given vaccination schedules for quick potential partner vaccinations.