Most of the time it is your choice whether or not to tell people if you have hepatitis B. You don't have to tell your doctor, dentist, or people who work in tattoo and piercing parlours. This is because these places have rules in place to stop the spread of viruses.

It's a good idea to tell your partner, family and people you live with. This means they can get tested for hepatitis B. If they don't have it they can protect themselves by getting a vaccine.

Sometimes you must tell people that you have hepatitis B. You must tell people:

  • before giving blood. You can't give blood if you have chronic hepatitis B. If you no longer have hepatitis B you need to wait at least 12 months after clearing it. Let the blood bank know.
  • when applying for insurance. This could be for life insurance and some other types. This is because your health might change whether or not they decide to insure you.
  • members of the Australian Defence Force, including Navy, Army and Air Forces. If you apply to join the Australian Defence Force you will get tested for hepatitis B.
  • if you are a healthcare worker who carries out exposure-prone procedures (EPPs). These are healthcare workers who could come into contact with sharp instruments or tissues (such as splinters of bone or teeth) inside a person’s body. Most often this applies to surgeons and dentists. Most healthcare workers do not do EPPs. You can get more advice about this on the Department of Health website.
  • when applying for a visa to live in Australia. Everything you say in your application form must be true. Sometimes you may need to have a hepatitis B test if you are applying to live in Australia.
  • If you wish to donate organs or sperm. They will test you for hepatitis B before you can donate organs or sperm. Some people with hepatitis B can still donate but others can't. 

Find out more about your rights and responsibilities living with hepatitis B


Hepatitis B, All Good, ASHM

I had hepatitis - can I donate? Australian Red Cross Blood Service

CDNA National Guidelines for healthcare workers on managing bloodborne viruses, Department of Health and Aged Care

Updated 7 November 2022