Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that infects the liver and is a major cause of serious liver disease such as cirrhosis and liver cancer that affects millions of people worldwide.

In most people a full course of vaccination prevents infection.

In Ireland, all children born since 1st July 2008 are offered a full course of hepatitis B vaccine as part of their primary immunisation schedule.

For adults who have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B, the following people should consider vaccination:

  • men who have sex with men
  • people who inject drugs
  • partners and everyone who lives with someone who has hepatitis B
  • anyone diagnosed with an STI
  • sex workers
  • anyone who has paid for sex
  • anyone who has been sexually assaulted

Vaccinations in public sexual health or GUM (genito-urinary medicine) clinics are provided free of charge. Click here for a list of public STI services available. Your GP may offer vaccinations for a fee.

More information on the sexual transmission and prevention of hepatitis B is available in the Hepatitis B information leaflet.

Information on hepatitis B is available on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website, including other risks for hepatitis B infection (such as occupational and travel) and who should be vaccinated.

Further information is also available on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website for those who have been diagnosed with hepatitis B or are living with someone who has hepatitis B.