How do i talk to my family about hepb

hello hep b community.; im freaking out a bit at the moment because i got diagnosed with hep b

im in my 30s and had a std check and it came up postivie for hep b. i dont now how to even talk to my family about it. i dont know when i got it because itst he first time i checked.

sorry im annoymeus but i dont want anyone findingout about this right now, if anyone has any advise or experiences about how theyve talked to their family about it woudl be really good. i might not post but i will be reading.

thanks

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To your parents, if I were you I would tell them. As a parent, I would never judge or close my arm and heart to them. Ever.

To your siblings, if you want to tell the go a head. If not, don’t have to. Cousins and other, they really don’t have any rights to know, unless you want them to know.

For parents I would, siblings I would also. ( I did). For cousins, I did not.

My wife knows the minute I found out. I told her. My kids do not know.

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Dear Anon,

Thanks for using this forum and trusting the community with your story.

I want to start by saying that you’re not alone: many of us here know exactly what you’re going through, having been through the trauma of a diagnosis ourselves. There are 250 million people around the world with chronic Hep B and just because not many people talk about it, it doesn’t mean understanding people are not around.

People are way more understanding than you think they are. Talk to a trusted friend or even pet. The HepB foundation has a helpline (https://www.hepb.org/contact-us/), as do hepatitis advocacy groups in Australia and other countries. Of course, you can contact people directly on this forum as well. Once it is out in the open a bit, it becomes a bit easier to manage.

There are a few things I thought that could help you talk about it:

  • While you got diagnosed through an std test, the truth is that the majority of chronic hep B cases are due to exposure to the virus when you are very young. This could have come about with just a simple graze. It is something that you may not have had any control over.

  • Since your worry is talking to your family, it sounds like you do have a good connection with them to feel the need to talk to them. As Johnny was saying, parents are much more understanding than you think with big issues like this.

  • This panic will pass. It may not feel like it at the moment and it may take some time, but as you process the information and get to know more about hep B, it’ll get better for you.

I hope you stay safe and all goes well. Happy to talk further 1-on-1 if you need.

Thomas

Hi Anon,

When I found out my partner had hep B, I only had love and concern for him. I didn’t even really know what it meant back then, but I could tell it was important to him.

I think your family will be a great support to you. I hope so anyway.

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I realize I’m weighing in late since I just joined the list, but have you been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B? Or is it possible that this is a new infection and you could still get rid of the virus? 90% of adults who are infected are able to clear the virus after 3-6 months. So it’s important to get tested again before assuming you have chronic hepatitis B (unless the clinic definitely said you have “chronic” hepatitis B). If you have your lab tests and are willing to post them, we could help figure out whether you have a new or chronic infection.

If you know it’s a chronic infection (meaning you test positive for HBV again after 6 months), I agree with Thomas that you may never know exactly how you were infected with HBV. If you were born outside the U.S., it could be that your mother unknowingly transmitted the virus when you were born (called maternal to child transmission). This is the most common route of transmission outside the U.S. because women are not tested for HBV before giving birth (in the U.S. all pregnant women are tested for HBV before delivering so their baby can get the first dose of the HBV vaccine within the first 12 hours of life). However, if you were born in the U.S., you could have gotten the HBV from a sexual partner or even as a young child (playground bloody scrape, etc.), maybe even from a dental or medical procedure (most unlikely but not out of the realm of possibilities).

Again, sorry I’m entering the conversation so late, but hopefully you are feeling calmer and have a better understanding of your situation? Thanks, Joan