"Hepatitis" means inflammation of the liver and refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The most common types are hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), and hepatitis C (HCV). HBV and HCV are bloodborne pathogens, that is, they are present in human blood and can cause disease.
HAV is not considered a bloodborne pathogen as it is rarely, if ever, present in human blood. HAV's main mode of transmission is the fecal-oral route and may be contracted through ingestion of contaminated water or food, if an individual has not received the Hepatitis A vaccine.
Hepatitis B infection is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Following introduction of the virus into a susceptible person, it travels through the bloodstream to the liver. Once in the liver, the virus will multiply and cause hepatitis.