How we test for hepatitis B
Our FDA-approved hepatitis B virus test (HBV) determines if you have hepatitis B by looking for surface antigens (viral proteins). Surface antigens are the earliest indicator of acute infection and are also present in chronic (long-term) infection.
To avoid developing health complications in the liver, finding a hepatitis B infection early is extremely advantageous.
If the HBV test responds positive, a second confirmation test is run, at no additional cost, to ensure that you receive the most accurate results possible. Laboratory testing accuracy rates are measured in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Our HBV test has a sensitivity rate of 88% and a specificity of 99-100%.
More Information About Hepatitis B Testing
Does hepatitis B testing use blood or urine?
Our hepatitis B test is performed on a blood sample provided by the patient at the test center by a laboratory technician.
What do I need to do to prepare for the test?
No fasting nor preparation is necessary, go to the lab you selected at your earliest convenience.
Who needs hepatitis B testing?
Hepatitis B often does not show symptoms so it is common for people to be unaware that they have an infection. If you do experience symptoms, they may consist of extreme fatigue, tenderness or pain in the lower abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, pain in the joints, headache, fever, and hives. These symptoms can appear from 6 weeks to 6 months after the infection has been introduced to the body.
What will the test results say?
The results will give either a positive or negative result. If you receive a negative result, this means there is no sign of HBV in your blood sample, positive means there is. If your results show positive, our doctors are available to talk to you about the results and answer any questions that you may have.
Can hepatitis B be cured or treated?
There is no cure for hepatitis, but because 90% of acute infections clear up on their own, it’s usually not something that you have to worry about. If you’ve tested positive for HBV for longer than 6 months, you have a chronic infection. Once you discover this, there is a treatment to slow the progression of the virus and keep your liver from being damaged. Most patients with chronic HBV still live healthy, long lives.
When is it the right time to get tested?
Hepatitis B is highly contagious and can be transmitted through bodily fluids of an infected person, typically through sexual contact, shared needles, or intravenous drug use.
Even though the test can detect an HBV infection as early as 3 weeks after being exposed to the infection, our doctors recommend testing after 6 weeks to ensure the most accurate results.
You should consider getting tested if you are experiencing several of these symptoms or have been in physical contact with someone who has a chronic HBV infection. It is highly recommended to include hepatitis B as part of your STD screening routine.
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What happens if you test positive for Hepatitis B?
If you test positive for Hepatitis B, you are eligible for a phone consultation with one of our doctors. You can choose a convenient time for this phone consultation. Our doctor will explain what your results mean, ask you questions and prescribe treatment or request further testing at their discretion.
We are here for you. Call us at 1-800-456-2323
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