What is Hepatitis B?

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epatitis B is a viral infection that damages the liver. It can cause acute or life-long (chronic) disease. The virus is preventable by vaccine, but most cases are transmitted from mother to child during birth. Transmission can also occur due to exposure to an infected person’s bodily fluids.

What Conditions is Hepatitis B Associated With?

Hepatitis B, also called Hep B or HBV, has extremely variable symptoms. Some common Hep B symptoms include yellowing of the eyes, abdominal pain, and dark urine. Occasionally, a patient may not experience any symptoms at all. This is most common among children.

Long-term Hepatitis B can cause severe damage to the liver. Liver scarring (cirrhosis) is a major risk. Liver scarring follows a lengthy period of liver inflammation. In the most severe cases, liver failure can ultimately result. Patients have an increased risk of liver cancer.

Hepatitis B Lifestyle Changes and Recovery

Hepatitis B often clears up on its own and may not require medical intervention. In the most serious cases, patients can benefit from antiviral medication. Hepatitis B is responsible for about 887,000 deaths worldwide each year, only a fraction of them taking place in the United States.

With appropriate treatment and medical supervision, many Hepatitis B suffers do not experience loss of quality of life from Hepatitis B. However, they must be careful not to transmit the disease through infected fluids, including blood, urine, and respiratory fluids.

When undergoing treatment for Hepatitis B, it is important to minimize strain on the liver. This means eliminating alcohol intake for the duration of treatment. Ideally, a Hepatitis B infection runs its course with minimal organ damage, allowing the patient to resume all normal activities.

What Research Currently Exists Around Hepatitis B?

Although it is a well-known disease, Hepatitis B research is still ongoing. Active Hepatitis B clinical trials take place worldwide. Because Hepatitis B vaccine is so effective, most of today’s Hep B research centers around the goal of achieving a cure for Hepatitis B.

The majority of worldwide deaths from Hepatitis B take place outside the United States. The National Institutes of Health and other U.S.-based organizations have coordinated Hepatitis B research to help reduce mortality rates and ultimately eliminate infection.

Current Hepatitis B research emphasizes deeper knowledge of Hepatitis B biology, sharing of tools and resources for Hepatitis B research and management, and the creation of new strategies to prevent or cure Hepatitis B. This is an ongoing, multi-year effort.

Why Are Further Hepatitis B Clinical Trials Important?

Hepatitis B clinical trials have the potential to virtually eradicate Hepatitis B within the next 30 years. For Hep B clinical trials to be successful, however, current and past Hepatitis B patients of all ages and backgrounds should be included. The more people participate in Hepatitis B clinical trials, the easier it will be to develop and deploy new Hepatitis B clinical resources.

Current Hepatitis B Clinical Trials

The following is the list of current Hepatitis B clinical trials on record at ClinicalTrials.gov. New Hepatitis B clinical trials are launched regularly. If you know of additional Hepatitis B clinical trials you’d like to feature on our website, contact our team.

Conclusion

The last few years have seen new treatments for Hepatitis B, including novel applications of drugs intended for other diseases. Now, Hepatitis B patients and their loved ones have the opportunity to support medical research into Hepatitis B that could ultimately end this disease. Volunteering for clinical trials is a step you can take to support a healthier future for everyone.