A risk factor is something that raises your chances of getting a health problem. Hepatitis spreads when you are exposed to it from contaminated:

  • Stool
  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Saliva
  • Food
  • Water
  • Animals
  • Items

The risk is higher for:

  • People with jobs in daycare, healthcare, or public safety
  • People who do not wash their hands well—especially after changing a diaper or using the bathroom
  • Close contact with someone who has or carries hepatitis—this includes having sex
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who have anal sex or oral to anal sex
  • People who have many sex partners
  • People who have sex with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection (STI)
  • People who use IV drugs or share needles
  • Babies born to mothers with hepatitis B, C, or E
  • Exposure to items that are not sterilized correctly such as medical equipment, or tattoo or body piercing tools
  • Living in or traveling to countries with poor sanitation, raw sewage, or untreated water

Having certain health conditions or procedures such as:

  • Getting one or more blood transfusions, blood products, or organ transplants—mainly before 1992
  • Hemodialysis to treat kidney disease
  • Persistent higher than normal liver function tests
  • A weak immune system—from a disease or treatment
  • An STI or HIV

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