When To Get Tested
When you have risk factors for HBV infection or when you have signs and symptoms of hepatitis, such as jaundice or unexplained elevated blood levels of alanine aminotransferase , a liver-associated enzyme when you have a condition that requires chemotherapy or drugs that suppress your immune system when you are being treated for HBV or hepatitis C when it is unclear whether you have immunity and your healthcare practitioner is considering giving you the hepatitis B vaccine
What Does The Test Result Mean
The tests for hepatitis B may be ordered individually but are often ordered in some combination, depending on the reason for testing. Results of the tests are typically evaluated together. Sometimes the meaning of one result depends on the result of another test. However, not all tests are performed for all people.
The table below summarizes possible interpretations of some common patterns of results.
|None detected or detected at very low level
|Chronic infection but low risk of liver damage carrier state
*Note: There are some types of HBV that do not make e-antigen. In areas where these strains of HBV are common , testing for HBeAg is not very useful. In these cases, a negative HbeAg result does not necessarily mean that the person is not infectious it may be that the person is infected with a strain that does not make the e-antigen.
Monitoring treatment of chronic infection: If the results from initial and follow-up testing indicate that a person has chronic hepatitis B, then the individual may be treated with medication and the effectiveness of that treatment may be monitored using the tests for HBe and HBs antigen and antibody and HBV DNA:
Treatment For Hepatitis C Is Rapidly Evolving
Hepatitis c, a virus that attacks the liver, is a tricky disease. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site. 1 cause of liver cancer and liver transplants. The standard treatment for hepatitis c, interferon and ribavirin, cures just 45% of those who receive it. Hepatitis is the name of a group of diseases that affect the liver.
Recommended Reading: Where Can I Get Hepatitis B Vaccine
Screening For Hepatitis B & C
NYU Langone doctors provide screening for hepatitis B and hepatitis C, two forms of hepatitis that can become chronic and lead to serious liver damage without treatment.
Hepatitis is characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C is caused by the hepatitis C virus. These diseases are contagious and can be spread from person to person through contact with bodily fluids such as blood and semen. Hepatitis B and C can also be passed from mother to child during birth.
Hepatologists, or liver specialists, and infectious disease specialists at NYU Langone recommend screening for some people who may be at increased risk of becoming infected.
Even though hepatitis B and C may cause no symptoms for years or even decades after infection, the viruses still may damage the liver. For this reason, screening is an important tool for early detection and treatment. It can prevent serious illness, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer, and hinder the spread of infection.
Vaccination for hepatitis is also an important prevention tool.
Getting Tested For Hepatitis C
A blood test, called an HCV antibody test, is used to find out if someone has ever been infected with the hepatitis C virus. The HCV antibody test, sometimes called the anti-HCV test, looks for antibodies to the hepatitis C virus in blood. Antibodies are chemicals released into the bloodstream when someone gets infected.
Test results can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to come back. Rapid anti-HCV tests are available in some health clinics and the results of these tests are available in 20 to 30 minutes.
Don’t Miss: Ok Google How Do You Get Hepatitis C
How The Test Is Performed
Blood is most often drawn from a vein from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine . The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm. Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed. The puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube, or onto a slide or test strip. A bandage may be placed over the area if there is any bleeding.
The blood sample is sent to a lab to be examined. Blood tests are used to check for antibodies to each of the hepatitis viruses.
When Should I Get Hepatitis B Testing
Using hepatitis B tests to screen for HBV is recommended for certain groups that are at an increased risk of infection. Groups that may benefit from hepatitis B screening include:
- Pregnant people
- People born in parts of the world where hepatitis B is more common, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, South America, and parts of the Middle East
- People who didnt receive a hepatitis B vaccine
- HIV-positive people
- Pain in the joints or abdomen
- Loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
- Yellowish skin and eyes
Using hepatitis B testing to assess immunity to HBV may be used before or after vaccination. Pre-vaccination testing is not always needed but may be performed if there is a chance that a patient has previously been infected with HBV or has already been vaccinated. Post-vaccination testing is used in certain groups of people who are at an especially elevated risk for HBV infection, including infants born to mothers with a hepatitis B infection.
Recommended Reading: How Is Hepatitis C Spread
Should I Get The Hbv Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults in high-risk groups get vaccinated. Some of these groups include people:
- In close contact with someone who has hepatitis B
- Who undergo dialysis
- With chronic liver or kidney disease
- With HIV or who seek treatment for other sexually transmitted diseases or drug treatment
- Who travel to countries where hepatitis B is common
- Who are healthcare workers with potential exposure to HBV
Unless there is something in your medical history to the contrary, it is prudent to get the series of vaccinations. Babies, children and adolescents are routinely given the series of shots if you have already been vaccinated, you probably are protected for many years, perhaps for life, and will not usually need to get the vaccine again.
Hepatitis B And C Test Kit Dont Buy From Cvs Walmart Walgreens
Please dont buy Hepatitis C and B Test kit from Walmart, CVS and Walgreens before you read this page.
Hepatitis B and C are infections caused by the HBV and HBC viruses that attack the liver and are transmitted through the body fluids. Both can cause either acute or chronic disease. It is estimated that, out of 300 million people from all over the world who have chronic infections, around a million die every year.
Most people do not have any symptoms during the initial infection, but after some time urine becomes darker, abdominal pain occurs and skin receives a yellow shade, which are the very first signs that you may have been infected.
What Is Being Tested
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus . Hepatitis B blood tests detect viral proteins , the antibodies that are produced in response to an infection, or detect or evaluate the genetic material of the virus. The pattern of test results can identify a person who has a current active infection, was exposed to HBV in the past, or has immunity as a result of vaccination.
For details on the various tests, see the table under Common Questions: How is it used?
Hepatitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and, sometimes, enlargement of the liver. It has various causes, one of which is infection by a virus. HBV is one of five “hepatitis viruses” identified so far that are known to mainly infect the liver. The other four are hepatitis A, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.
HBV is spread through contact with blood or other body fluids from an infected person. Exposure can occur, for example, through sharing of needles for IV drug use or through unprotected sex. People who live in or travel to areas of the world where hepatitis B is prevalent are at a greater risk. Mothers who are infected can pass the infection to their babies, usually during or after birth. The virus is not spread through casual contact such as holding hands, coughing or sneezing. However, the virus can survive outside the body for up to seven days, including in dried blood, and can be passed by sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person.
Addressing Hepatitis For The First Time
It is crucial that a treatment counselor or health professional use a nonjudgmental and compassionate tone. Clients need to feel comfortable disclosing information about their health and risky behaviors. The following strategies can help initiate the conversation:
- Display posters, literature, or other -related items that could help prompt the client to ask questions about hepatitis. .
- Assess clients ability to discuss , based on their degree of openness in the counseling session, the amount of detail they provide in their responses, and the length of the therapeutic relationship.
- Raise the subject in a way that avoids making clients feel defensive or afraid. Consider introducing the subject by making parallels with other conditions that have been discussed. Say, for example, You said you were tested for HIV several times. Were you ever tested for viral ? or You mentioned that your friend is sick with HIV. Have you been tested for HCV or HIV? Tell me about those tests.
- Be patient and allow time for multiple, short conversations about the subject. This might ease feelings of fear, anxiety, or shame.
You May Like: How Does Hepatitis C Affect The Liver
Is There Anything Else I Should Know
Even if you don’t have symptoms, an HBV infection can damage your liver and you can spread the infection to others. For this reason, it is important to get tested if you think you have been exposed to HBV.
Blood banks screen all donated blood for the hepatitis B virus , hepatitis B surface antigen , and hepatitis B core antibody . Donors are notified of any confirmed positive reactions. People who receive a notice regarding possible infection with hepatitis B after donating should visit their healthcare provider for further testing. The healthcare practitioner will order additional tests to make a proper diagnosis and determine if treatment is necessary.
If exposed to HBV and you haven’t been vaccinated, an infection can be avoided by getting a shot of hepatitis B immune globulin within 24 hours and typically you will also be given the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine.
A test is available to determine the specific type of hepatitis B virus that is causing a person’s infection. This is called HBV genotyping. However, this testing is currently mainly used in research settings and not for clinical purposes.
Hiv And Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Coinfection
Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by a virus. Because these infections can be spread in the same ways as HIV, people with HIV in the United States are often also affected by chronic viral hepatitis.
Viral hepatitis progresses faster and causes more liver-related health problems among people with HIV than among those who do not have HIV. Liver disease, much of which is related to HBV or HCV, is a major cause of non-AIDS-related deaths among people with HIV.
Given the risks of hepatitis B or hepatitis C coinfection to the health of people living with HIV, it is important to understand these risks, take steps to prevent infection, know your status, and, if necessary, get medical care from someone who is experienced in treating people who are coinfected with HIV and HBV, or HIV and HCV.
Recommended Reading: Treatment For Liver Cirrhosis Hepatitis B
Strengths And Limitations Of This Study
This study is aimed to increase accessibility and efficacy of hepatitis screening by using an alternative algorithm which include reflex confirmatory testing.
Hepatitis screening tools that provide additional information regarding viral activity and treatment eligibility can help guide precise patient referral.
Our hepatitis screening strategy allows an increase in accessibility for residents, particularly the elderly, in remote communities.
Because of the use of high flow assays used in this study, the use of this algorithm is probably not as appropriate in resource-limited settings.
Who Guidelines On Testing For Hepatitis B And C Meeting Targets For Testing
volume 17, Article number: 703
An estimated 71 million people worldwide are chronically infected with hepatitis C and 257 million with hepatitis B . Combined, hepatitis C and hepatitis B are estimated to cause 1.34 million deaths annually, and viral hepatitis is now the 7th leading cause of death globally, ahead of HIV and malaria . The burden of hepatitis B and C disease in 2013 was estimated at 38.7 million disability-adjusted life years , an increase of at least 25% since 1990 .
Table 1 WHO vison for viral hepatitis and the Sustainable Development Goal 3.3:
These targets are ambitious but achievable. However it is crucial to considerably increase the number of people being tested for viral hepatitis and who are aware of their status if the treatment targets are to be met and the elimination agenda advanced. Currently, it is estimated that only a small proportion of persons with viral hepatitis have been diagnosed – 9% of HBV-infected persons , and 20% of HCV-infected persons globally with the majority diagnosis, and treatments, occuring in higher income settings . In many LMICs, it is estimated that less than 1% of those infected have been diagnosed and treated.
You May Like: Is Viral Hepatitis C Contagious
How Are Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Spread From Person To Person
Like HIV, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses spread:
- From mother to child: Pregnant women can pass these infections to their infants. HIV-HCV coinfection increases the risk of passing on hepatitis C to the baby.
- Sexually: Both viruses can also be transmitted sexually, but HBV is much more likely than HCV to be transmitted sexually. Sexual transmission of HCV is most likely to happen among gay and bisexual men who are living with HIV.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test
This is a test to find out if you have a current infection. HBsAg is the earliest sign of the virus and disappears from your blood as the infection clears. A positive result indicates infection. If the antigen is not found , this shows that either you have never been exposed to hepatitis B or that you have recovered from infection and cleared the virus. The term surface refers to the outer surface of the virus itself.
You May Like: Hepatitis B Surface Antibody Quantitative Titer
Hepatitis C Is Curable
Link to care: interferon-free direct acting antiviral treatments have a sustained virologic response > 90%.
- treatment regimens range from 8 to 24 weeks and have few side effects
- consult a health professional experienced in the management of viral hepatitis
For more information, please visit Canada.ca and search ‘hepatitis C for health professionals’.
Preparing Clients For Screening
Once clients are comfortable talking about viral , they might be more willing to undergo screening. However, clients might be anxious about the test itself a reassurance that testing is a simple procedure can help allay these concerns. Many substance use treatment facilities do not offer screening, and clients might need to be referred elsewhere. The following strategies can enhance the discussion of the hepatitis screening process and hepatitis prevention:
Also Check: Ways To Contract Hepatitis C
All Adults Pregnant Women And People With Risk Factors Should Get Tested For Hepatitis C
Most people who get infected with hepatitis C virus develop a chronic, or lifelong, infection. Left untreated, chronic hepatitis C can cause serious health problems, including liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and even death. People can live without symptoms or feeling sick, so testing is the only way to know if you have hepatitis C. Getting tested is important to find out if you are infected so you can get lifesaving treatment that can cure hepatitis C.
Tests For Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C antibody test This is one of the most common tests that is used to detect the presence of Hepatitis C infection. This test has two possible outcomes, Positive, and Negative. Positive indicates the presence of the virus and the person is infected while for Negative there is no infection and the suspect is absolutely healthy.
RNA qualitative test This test is used for confirming the present status of the infection, whether the suspect holds the infection presently or not. This test is also called the PCR test based on the method of conduction of the test.
RNA quantitative test This type of test is used to measure the amount of hepatitis virus that is present in the blood. By employing this type of test, the doctors can analyze the reaction of the treatment as the exact number of the virus in the blood is known.
Viral genotyping This is another type of test that is dedicated towards finding the type of Hepatitis C that is present inside the body. Out of the 6 types of Hepatitis C that exists, the actual particular type that is present in the body needs to be known so as to choose the right medical treatment for its cure.