Hepatitis B – The Forgotten STD
In my line of work I see many people with STD concerns.
I’ve counseled many patients with regards to HIV, Herpes, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and more. I’ve however noticed that the topic of Hepatitis B hardly ever comes up. Most people are either unaware that it is an STD or are surprisingly unconcerned about it.
Perhaps this stems from the fact that Singapore has a childhood vaccination program that immunizes all our newborns against Hepatitis B. Even so, approximately 4% to 6% of our local Singaporean population carries Hepatitis B. In other words, one in every 25 people carries Hepatitis B. Think about it. Did you come across 25 people today? Well one of them is very likely to carry Hepatitis B!
It is true that most cases of Hepatitis B infection in Singapore are due to infected mothers passing the infection on to their children. Very few cases are actually sexually transmitted.
Still, Hepatitis B is a very important STD to screen for. This is because a Hepatitis B infection can become an incurable chronic infection that may lead to liver failure and liver cancer.
Despite our very comprehensive national immunization program, it is a fact that some people will lose their immunity to Hepatitis B when they reach adulthood. Getting vaccinated is a foolproof way of protecting yourself against Hepatitis B.
To find out if you need the vaccine or not, visit your doctor for a simple blood test.
Protect yourself. Don’t forget about Hepatitis B!
About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.
All Our Doctors are Fully Certified and Trained to conduct specialised STD and HIV Testing.
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