INTRODUCTION THREAD: People affected by Hep B

Hello everyone, so happy to have found you.

My name is Scott, and I’m from the USA. In 2013 I was dating online and was not as careful as I should have been with a girl I went out with, taking her at her word that she did not have any STIs. Shortly after we were intimate, we decided it wasn’t going to work out and I started dating my now wife.

A few months into our relationship, I woke up one night covered in hives and went to the ER where they administered steroids and Benadryl. I thought I had acquired a freaky allergic reaction from something and after it passed, I thought nothing more of it.

A month after that, I had a routine physical exam with blood work where my doctor informed me my AST and ALT were both near 1000. I hadn’t experienced many symptoms other than fatigue, which I attributed to work stress. Followup tests revealed I had acquired hepatitis B and did not have immunity. I was told that I would more than likely clear the infection without issue as I was otherwise healthy and young (31 years old at the time).

6 months later, I received word that I had developed surface antibodies and the surface antigen was no longer detected and that according to the doctor, I was cured. My acute infection was relatively uneventful as fatigue was the only symptom I noticed from time to time. My wife was vaccinated, so she never caught it from me, and thankfully, my now 2-year-old son was also spared.

A year after my acute infection cleared, I had a bout of the flu and received a chest X-ray to check for pneumonia, and they found potential plural effusion and sent me for a CT scan. The CT did not find any problem with my lungs, but did find 2 subcentimeter lesions on my liver which they said were probably benign hemangiomas with no followup needed.

3 years later, after an injury to my back, I had an MRI of my spine, which again picked up these liver lesions. This time, they were twice as large (just under 2cm) and accompanied by two more scattered tiny (suspected) cysts.

My paternal grandfather and great grandfather both passed from HCC, so it was recommended I keep an eye on my liver, and I’ve been monitoring these lesions annually ever since. For 3 years there were only very minor changes to them, but this past year, one of the “cysts” grew from about 2mm to almost 2cm. Given this change, my family history, and the fact my father now has stage 4 liver cancer as well, continuing the family trend and making him the third consecutive generation to acquire HCC, I was referred to a hepatologist to review my recent MRI.

The doctor tested me for everything from tumor markers to liver function (all normal), and given my history with Hep B, he tested for HBVsAG, HBVsAB, and HBVcAB as well as HBV DNA. The sAG was not detected and I was reactive for the sAB (maintaining my functional immunity), but I was also reactive for cAB and they found <10 IU/mL of HBV DNA in my blood. I soon learned through my own searches (as the doc wasn’t getting back to me) that this is called occult hepatitis B (OBI), and that the virus was still hiding in my hepatocytes and replicating at low levels. I had not cleared it completely as I was told almost 9 years ago.

When I was finally in touch with a nurse, she confirmed the OBI diagnosis and told me just to keep following up annually and not worry as my risk for HCC or liver disease from this is very low. Yet, that statement seems to be in stark contrast to what I’m finding online in the very limited information on OBI. More recent findings appear to show a huge correlation between OBI and HCC in both the presence of and absence of cirrhosis and even with normal liver counts and low serum DNA like I have. I also see that it holds risk of reactivation.

I have been struggling to find conclusive information on OBI and what it means for most people who have it, because it seems to have a very low detection rate. I’ve been looking for a new doctor who is better informed about OBI and will actually talk to me about my condition, because I feel incredibly isolated and alone being told to just “wait it out and see if things get worse,” and having no one who seems to have info on what I’m going through. For context, my dad had 2 lesions on his liver in 2020, and was told to wait and follow up 6 months later, during which point they grew from just under 2cm to over 5cm and were non-resectable by the time his followup came around. 2 years later, he is stage 4 and it is now in his lymph nodes. So you can imagine my apprehensiveness to just wait and monitor for more growth. My dad, however, drank nearly every day of his adult life whereas I have never had a full alcoholic drink, nor been drunk in my life. I don’t smoke and I otherwise take care of myself. But he also was not exposed to HBV and I still am every day.

So, I’m just hoping to meet people who share my concerns and hoping I can find someone who actually knows something about OBI and what I should be expecting, how I should conduct my day-to-day, if I should be on some kind of treatment, etc. I’m also happy to lend a supportive ear to anyone who needs to vent or share their concerns, fears, hopes, information on this little DNA hijacker that likes to hang out in our livers, or just be here for anyone who wants to talk about anything (even non-hep B related) without worrying about any kind of stigma or judgment.

Here’s hoping they will be able to find a sterilizing cure sooner than later. Hope you are all well!


Dear @Scott,

Thanks for sharing your story and sorry to hear all the stress you are going through. There is indeed little known about OBI and its effect on people, studies have linked it to a small but detectable increased risk of liver cancer. The majority of people with OBI will never notice it though and will live completely normally without any ill effect. Because the increased risk is so slight, it is difficult to see if anything (such as antiviral treatments) changes it without long-term and/or very large studies in situations such as yours.

The only other thing to be aware of is if you ever require chemotherapy, an organ transplant or otherwise severely immunosuppressed: you should be on antivirals to prevent any reactivation of the infection. This won’t apply to most people though.

I believe the recommended guidelines are being followed in your case, but I can see it is not ideal for addressing the non-clinical issues (e.g. the anxiety and fear). I hope some of this information does help you though.



I found out a few days ago.
Hepatitis B. I am 25 years old.
I am not married yet. Our general physician doctor said that there is nothing to worry about till 30 years. I have done a liver function test and it came back normal. I am a little scared.
Can advise.
I am Indian.


Welcome to the forum @Gandavarapu_Manohar and thank you for sharing your story. I hope you read some of the other posts here and see that having Hep B isn’t the end of your life. The fact that your liver function is normal is very good and now that you know about it you can protect your liver from any future injury.

Please know that you are not alone, but part of a community of people who know what you are going through.


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Ok sir thank you for replying


A post was merged into an existing topic: Support Group For Nigerians

Please help me interpret this result

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Please help me interpret this result

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Hi! My name is Mich and here’s my story. I was diagnosed of hep B when I was about 21 yo. I just came back from the Philippines, which I know for sure I got the hep B from. I’m not sure how I got it and I’m not sure if I was born with it either since mg viral load is not that high. In 2018 my viral load was at 9620 and in 2020 it went down to 4940. I’m currently a nursing student so I’m still trying to learn how to read my lab values. My liver enzymes (ALT) has been around 18-19, which is normal. I was wondering why my viral load went down when I was a heavy drinker (partied a lot). I didn’t really pay attention to my chronic hep B as I thought it was nothing to worry about. Now that I’m a nursing student, I slowly learned about chronic hep B and how it affects people. It honestly woke me up and I was pretty depressed about it. I still am worried since I do have a daughter and married. I want to be able to live a long life to see my kids grow up. I’m slowly trying to quit drinking (drinks 2-3 bottles of beer 3-4x per week) as everytime I google hep B, it always suggest to avoid alcohol at all cost as it damages the liver more and increases the viral load. I have an appointment to get a liver ultrasound next month to check if my liver is healthy but that has been worrying me. I have so much questions about what supplements i can take and I will for sure ask my Gastro about when I see him in May (soonest appointment) but for the mean time I would like to ask for the following:

  1. Can I take supplements such as vitamin C and collagen?

  2. Can I drink whey protein? (I work out and wants to supplement with whey protein)

  3. Do I really need to quit drinking even if I only drink in moderation?

  4. Is green tea helpful or harmful? I drink green tea daily.

P.S. when I found out about this community and read some stories. It significantly decreased my depression as I now feel like I’m not alone and I feel like I can get more knowledge from this community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Dear @Mich,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your story as well as the kind words. It’s great to hear that you are taking active steps to change your lifestyle for the better and maintaining monitoring.

Regarding your questions:

  1. Supplements are always a hard one to answer. Unless you have a proven deficiency in something, there’s little/no evidence that they help at all. I am unaware of any Hep B related issues with Vit C or collagen though.
  2. There is a previous discussion on whey powder here: Lifestyle changes, nutrition, and supplements for hep b - #94 by ThomasTu.
  3. I believe the more you can reduce alcohol intake, the better. But it should be a change that you can stick to (no use trying to quit and then binging because you can’t take it). There is some discussion on this elsewhere on the board: Vices - alcohol marijuana etc - #2 by ThomasTu.
  4. I don’t know if green tea has an effect either way. Some studies have found an protective effect on liver cancer rates (Green tea consumption, inflammation and the risk of primary hepatocellular carcinoma in a Chinese population - PMC), others have shown no effect (Effect of Coffee and Green Tea Consumption on the Risk of Liver Cancer: Cohort Analysis by Hepatitis Virus Infection Status | Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention | American Association for Cancer Research). If there is one, it’s likely pretty small. There is an repeatable detectable effect of coffee protecting against liver cancer though.

Hope this helps,


Hello sir
In my case, since I was born I was diagnosed with jaundice and I refer to doctor, they said it will stay like that only and there isn’t any treatment for that.Thay also said that, When I get more stress, my skin color is change to yellowish and when I am free from that it will naturally change to normal. They recommend me to maintain proper diet😊
I thought of apply for master in aboard and is there any consequences or rejection of visa?

Thank you

Dear @ChoDen,

Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your story. The answer to your question can depend on your status: were you ever formally diagnosed with Hepatitis B through a blood test?

That said, for many countries, the visa is not affected by whether you have Hep B or not. Please see this thread for more information: Hepatitis B and Immigration/visa issues


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2 posts were split to a new topic: Changing doctors

Оля, привет.
Я Дмитрий, мне 42, хронический гепатит В был с 3 или 4 лет поставлен. 15 лет назад пробовал интерферон-А, безрезультатно (только побочки были). В прошлом году (2022) без всякого лечения сдал маркеры и о чудо, выздоровление, днк вируса нет в ПЦР, и появился анти-HBsAg. Конечно после хрони полного выздоровления не бывает, так как вирусная ДНК остается внутри клеток печени, но зато при этом теперь вирус почти не размножается и наносит вреда печени, и только если иммунитет сильно ослабнет, то он может реактивироваться, но в целом при таком раскладе как у меня прогноз хороший, говорят что после такой редкой конверсии часто антитела ( анти-HBsAg) остаются на всю жизнь.
Что я делал для этого? Ничего почти. Просто спонтанно излечился. Начал пару лет назад делать йогу 1 раз в неделю, и еще иногда зимой раздетым на снег в лесу выбегаю на несколько минут (2-3), типа закаливания только не водой а снегом. Еще несколько лет много зеленого типа рукола, лук, петрушка, авокадо. Вот и всё! Видимо иммунке хватило этого. Еще за последние несколько лет поменялся в психологическом плане, возможно это тоже внесло свой вклад (по крайней мере я думаю, что внесло). Про психологические изменения, если интересно, могу отдельно тебе написать.
Будь здорова , )


Dear @Eastwood37
I used google translate to understand your message.

We are grateful for your message and for sharing your journey with chronic hepatitis B. Your story is truly inspiring and we believe it will bring hope and comfort to many others who are facing similar situations.

We would like to focus specifically on the mental aspect of your experience and would be grateful if you could share your experience with anxiety and depression and how you were able to overcome these challenges. Additionally, we have a specific topic dedicated to food and activity changes that could help strengthen the immune system or stimulate our sprit.
We believe that your insights and advice different topics would be valuable to others who may be facing similar mental and physical challenges.

Your positive attitude and willingness to share your story is greatly appreciated, and we believe it will have a significant impact on others facing similar challenges.

We wish you all the best in this new stage of your life


Thanks, am new here and just don’t know what to share and not to share here.or whether am using the right handle to give my story.
I was shocked when I was diagonized with CHBV in March 2022.
It was out of concern when one of my close friend died of HCC ,and through Google I got to know the major causes of it.
My first results showed in March 2022
HBsag 4043 u/ml
Hbe negative
Viral load 54
Liver profile normal
Also showed bit D was deficient at 65 and was given suppliment for that

2nd test in around Sept 2022
HBsag 4369 iu/ml
Hbesag negative
Viral load 60
Vit D tested found to be at 78

Last week I got retest and the results were as follows
HBsag 4693
Viral load 24
Hbesag negative
Anti hbe was also tested and found positive
I also did abnominal scan and the results indicated everything to be normal
I also did alpha veto protein test and this gave a value of 5.1
My vit D is showing a value of 61.1

My wife recieved now the last jab for HBV vaccine coz she tested negative when we went for the first test
I was so scared that my doctor prayed for me. I just don’t understand why this just happened to me .

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Dear @anonymous30,

Thank you for sharing your story. I think it’s good that you discovered your status before much liver damage had occurred, so that you can prevent it in future. Your low viral load is also a good sign with regards to risk of liver damage in the future and also low risk of passing it on to other people. It’s also great that your wife has been vaccinated to protect herself.

It sounds like you’re doing everything right and have got the information you need. Please feel free to explore the other threads and see how others have coped with their condition.

You are not alone,

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Hey there, Rob @sloped876
You know what, I had been a chronic HBV carrier from age 11 to 41 (when I got spontaneously cured),
in the past few years I had frequently recurring myalgia fits, not as a diagnosis, but as a symptom that was not attended. It reminded me the drawling muscle pain I had when I was on interferon-A for HBV about 15 ago (like an echo pain from the past). This muscle pain episodes subsided when started to do yoga once a week and long walks and cold exposures. I even think that these pains may have been caused by my body reacting to HBV or trying to fight it (like it was unsuccessfully doing during interferon treatment).
Go ahead and read my story of spontaneous cure A story of achieving spontaneous functional cure after over 30 years of chronic HBV.
I sure hope you be inspired by it, or maybe you will find something useful in it.
Wishing you a long exciting life! :slight_smile:


Hi there, Shoshana!
My name is Dimitry. I am the same age as you are. I had been a chronic BHV carrier since age 0-11 (exact age unknown). In 2022 I achieved a spontaneous functional cure of HBV. My fibro-scan now and also before the cure and gave reading of fibrosis stage 0 (no fibrosis whatsoever). Such condition can stay with you for life. I am inviting you to read my story of curing HBV without treatment.

I hope it inspires you.
Wishing you a long exciting life! :slight_smile:


Hi everyone. My name is Williette and I was just diagnosed with Chronic Hepatitis B a little over two weeks ago and it has turned my world upside down.I was born in West Africa and am unsure how I got HBV. My mom and siblings are going to get tested. My liver enzymes have always been normal during my annual blood tests so we never tested for HBV.

This diagnosis has been really challenging to accept and has come with a roller coaster of fear, anxiety, and questions. Do I have cancer/cirrhosis? Will my life be cut short? What adjustments do I need to make and can I make them? My creatinine levels are a bit elevated, are my kidneys failing?

I am 33 years old and knowing that I have been living with the virus possibly my whole life and not making the best health decisions (drinking, not always working out, eating unhealthily) has me really thinking the worst about the condition of my liver. I am scheduled to see a gastroenterologist at the end of next month to get more blood tests, but that seems so far away and the emotions that I’m currently dealing with are so strong and isolating. I know that these emotions will likely continue for some time so I am allowing them to be while also speaking with my therapist. I appreciate this forum and the others who have shared their stories. It gives me some hope.