Difference Between Hepatitis B and HIV

Main Difference – Hepatitis B vs HIV

Hepatitis B and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are two medical conditions which are rapidly invading the modern community, majorly due to unsafe lifestyle practices. The main difference between Hepatitis B and HIV is their treatment; Hepatitis B can be cured completely if properly managed, but HIV has no cure. 

This article contains,

1. What is Hepatitis B?
     – Cause, Signs and Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment 

2. What is HIV?
     – Condition, Pathophysiology, Cautions and Management

3. What is the difference between Hepatitis B and HIV?
Difference Between Hepatitis B and HIV - Hepatitis B vs HIV Comparison Summary

What is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can be defined as an inflammation of the liver which can be self-limiting or proceeds to fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, scarring, or malignancy.

Causes of Hepatitis B

As far as the etiology of Hepatitis B is concerned, this is caused by a virus which is mainly transmitted through infected blood, blood products, semen, body fluids, etc. It can spread from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from an infected family member to an infant during the early childhood. Furthermore, various invasive medical procedures and blood transfusions can also act as the main routes for introducing infected blood and body fluids to affected individuals.

Therefore, it is highly important that health care workers are appropriately aware and cautious about how to manage these invasive procedures with care, without getting the responsible virus inside their body which usually takes place following needle stick injuries during professional health care.

Signs and Symptoms and Complications of Hepatitis B

The majority of the Hepatitis B infected individuals will not show any signs or symptoms at the time of acute infection, whereas some might rarely show features such as jaundice, dark urine, weakness, generalised fatigability, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Moreover, a very rare entity of patients with acute hepatitis may end up with acute liver failure, which is fatal if prompt treatments are not carried out.

Also, in some people, this virus can result in chronic liver infection which can subsequently develop into liver cirrhosis or carcinoma.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Hepatitis B

Your doctor will take a complete history about the signs and symptoms of the condition along with time durations, which will be followed by an abdominal examination to elicit signs like hepatomegaly and tenderness of the liver.

Acute HBV infection is diagnosed by the presence of HBsAg and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to the core antigen, HBcAg whereas the chronic type can be diagnosed with a persistent HBsAg level for at least 6 months duration.

There is no exact treatment for acute hepatitis B; symptomatic management plays the hallmark of therapy. In fact, adequate nutritional levels and hydration are mandatory for a quick recovery. Oral antiviral drugs are also helpful for patients with chronic hepatitis B infection since they are proven to be beneficial in reducing the progression of the disease to liver cirrhosis and carcinoma, thus paving the way to improve the quality of life.

At present, there are few vaccines, developed against Hepatitis B virus but they are not used on a universal basis due to high expenditure and inadequate awareness.

Main Difference - Hepatitis B vs  HIV

Hepatitis B


What is HIV

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which invades the human immune system and weakens the immunity of the individual, thus increasing the susceptibility to infections, inflammatory conditions and various other illnesses in the body. 

As far as the pathophysiology of HIV is considered, the responsible virus will invade the body’s immune system, particularly the CD4 cells (T cells) type, playing a major role in maintaining a strong and efficient immune system. The affected CD4 cells will drastically reduce in number and will ultimately result in a very weak immune system, where the body will no longer be able to fight against any infections or ailments. Furthermore, various opportunistic infections or malignancies will take over and spread extensively, making the person very ill and finally causing an unfortunate and untimely death.

A person who has a history of any direct contact with blood or mucosal discharges of an infected individual, unprotected sex, and needle stick injuries should be highly cautious about frequent infections and sudden overgrowth of ailments in the body. People like that should seek immediate medical advice to carry out tests for HIV, after which the necessary treatments can be carried out.  Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for HIV, yet the condition can be managed symptomatically along with palliative care. This will reduce and control the spread of the disease, which might help to prolong the lifespan of the affected individual.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the hallmark of HIV treatment, and this will lower the rate of spread and the incidence of disease transmission to other people around.Difference Between Hepatitis B and HIV

Difference Between Hepatitis B and HIV

Hepatitis is a disease, affecting the liver which can be caused by several viral entities such as A, B, C, D and E. This condition, in general, is defined as an inflammation of the liver which can either be self-limiting in nature or complicates to fibrosis, scarring, liver cirrhosis or malignancy.

On the other hand, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which invades the human immune system and weakens the immunity of the individual, thus increasing the susceptibility to infections, inflammatory conditions and various other illnesses in the body. 

Both Hepatitis and HIV can cause similar signs and symptoms, yet HIV tends to affect the overall body rather than being limited just to the liver.

Hepatitis B, if properly managed can be cured completely.

HIV doesn’t have any permanent cure at all except for the treatment with Antiretroviral drugs which is known to control the spread and reduce the incidence of transmitting the disease from infected person to another.

Image Courtesy:

“Hepatitis B virus v2” By Original uploader was TimVickers at en.wikipedia – (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

“Symptoms of AIDS” By “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 20018762. (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Embogama

Embogama is a passionate freelance writer for several years. Her areas of interest include general medicine, clinical medicine, health and fitness, Ayurveda medicine, psychology, counseling and piano music