Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are different viruses that both damage your liver. They are both transmitted through blood, but there are many differences in how most people contract hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as the treatment available.

Hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood or specific body fluids. Most people contract hepatitis B at birth or in early childhood. You can also get hepatitis B if you have sex without a condom or have unsafe medical procedures. There is a vaccine for hepatitis B, but there is no cure. There is effective treatment that can reduce damage to your liver if you need it.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood. Most people in Australia contract hepatitis C through injecting drugs, but you can also get it through amateur tattoos, unsafe medical procedures and vaccination programs, or anal sex without a condom. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, but there is a safe and effective cure.

Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C can lead to cirrhosis (severe scarring of the liver), liver disease and liver cancer.

Find out more about hepatitis B

Find out more about hepatitis C


ASHM. (2019). What is hepatitis B. Retrieved from All Good.

ASHM. (2019). What is hepatitis C. Retrieved from All Good.

Updated 2 December 2019