Hesperian Health Guides

Hepatitis B (Yellow Eyes) and hepatitis C

In this chapter:

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  • no appetite
  • tired and weak feeling
  • yellow eyes or skin
  • nausea or pain in the belly
  • dark urine and whitish stools
  • no signs at all, common for hepatitis C

Hepatitis is a dangerous infection caused by a virus that harms the liver. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C spread when the blood, saliva (spit), fluid from the vagina, or semen of someone already infected with the virus gets into the body of another person. Hepatitis B spreads very easily, especially during sex. Hepatitis C is more likely to be spread through unclean needles or through infected blood. Hepatitis B and C can cause permanent damage to the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death. Hepatitis C is a major cause of death for people with HIV.

If you are worried your partner has hepatitis, ask a health worker about getting tested and vaccinated. If you or your partner have had hepatitis, wait until you are both completely well before having sex.


Hepatitis B can be treated and hepatitis C can be cured. Get tested and ask health workers what medicines are available.

You can feel better and help your liver heal by getting extra rest, and drinking juices, broths or vegetable soups. Do not drink any alcohol for at least 6 months.

Pregnancy and hepatitis. If you have any of these signs when you are pregnant, see a health worker. You may be able to get a vaccination to prevent your baby from getting hepatitis B.

This page was updated:22 Jan 2024