Discussing Screening Results With Clients
The medical personnel who ordered or arranged the screening test, not counselors, usually explain the results. Hepatitis screening should be part of the intake physical examination in an opioid treatment program, and medical personnel may report the results. However, the client may want to discuss the results with the counselor or ask the counselor questions.
Anxiety might interfere with some clients ability to comprehend or retain information, which might need to be repeated.
Suggestions for conversations with clients when the test results are negative include the following:
- Explain results clearly and simply: So the HCV screening result was negative? This means that, as of 6 months ago, you did not have .
- Emphasize that a negative result to an HCV test does not indicate to and that the client should take precautions to avoid . If a relapse to drug use occurs, advise clients to avoid sharing any drug paraphernalia or equipment. Specify that this includes cookers, cotton, water, needles, syringes, pipes, and straws.
- Emphasize the importance of getting HAV and HBV vaccinations. Provide information about the availability of low- or no-cost vaccinations.
Clients whose screening test results are positive for will need additional tests and examinationsusually with doctors who specialize in diseases of the liver to get accurate diagnoses and to determine their health status and the extent of liver damage. These tests are described in .
How Much Does The Test Cost
The cost of hepatitis B testing depends on the tests that are performed, where the test is conducted, and a patientâs health insurance coverage. When testing is ordered by a doctor, patients with health insurance may find it helpful to discuss the cost of testing with their health insurance company as they may be responsible for testing costs as well as other out-of-pocket costs such as copays and deductibles.
For patients without health insurance or for whom insurance doesnât cover the cost of testing, it may be helpful to discuss the cost of hepatitis B testing with a doctor or hospital administrator.
The cost of at-home hepatitis B testing starts around $45. At-home test kits may also test for additional types of viral hepatitis in the same sample. The cost of test panels that look for more than one type of viral hepatitis start around $80.
What Is In The Hepatitis B Self
The test for hepatitis B uses a blood sample collected from a finger prick. The kit contains:
- an alcohol swab to clean your finger
- a small lancet to make a tiny cut in your fingertip
- a sample tube
If youd like to test for any of the 6 most common infections, you can find out more about Fettles STI kits and customise your order.
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Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
Patients may find it helpful to ask questions about their hepatitis B test results. Questions that may be helpful include:
- What was my test result?
- Do I have an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection?
- Does the test result suggest that I have immunity for hepatitis B?
- Would I benefit from hepatitis B vaccination?
- Do I need any follow-up tests based on my hepatitis B test results?
How Long After Hepatitis B Exposure Should You Take A Test
People who think they may have come into contact with HBV and who are not vaccinated should contact a doctor within to get post-exposure prophylaxis treatment.
PEP treatment for hepatitis B can consist of the hepatitis B vaccine, an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin, which contains antibodies against HBV, or both.
The HBF states that it can take up to 9 weeks for HBV to show up in the bloodstream. The organization recommends that individuals who have never received PEP treatment get tested 9 weeks after exposure.
If the result is negative, a doctor may recommend the completion of the hepatitis B vaccine series.
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Does Hepatitis B Show Up In Routine Blood Tests
Routine blood tests do not detect hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis B tests are specifically done if blood tests show abnormal liver function results, or if a person experiences symptoms or falls into the high-risk category for HBV infection.
A panel of HBV-specific blood tests are required to detect HBV infection.
Who Should Get Screened For Hepatitis B
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control calls for HBV screening of all foreign-born persons from regions where hepatitis B is common regardless of their vaccination history.
Additionally, all pregnant women should be screened for HBV at an early prenatal visit during each pregnancy, even if they have been previously tested or vaccinated.
Other groups recommended for HBV screening include:
- Anyone seeking protection from the HBV infection
- Healthcare and public safety workers
- Household, sex, or needle-sharing contacts of persons infected with HBV
- Intravenous drug users
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Can Hepatitis B Be Treated
If you know you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus in the previous seven days or less, you can receive an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin that may prevent you from developing the disease. Besides this, there is no treatment for acute hepatitis B.
If you have chronic hepatitis B, two types of treatment exist interferon which is a medication administered by a needle, and antiviral medicines that are taken by mouth. Current approved hepatitis B oral medications include lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, tenofovir, and entecavir. These treatments do not provide a cure, but they offer control of the virus so that further damage to your liver can be prevented. When and how to treat your hepatitis B is a decision between you and your doctor. Availability of the medications listed above may vary from province to province based on provincial government drug plans and individual insurance plans.
What Is The Difference Between Hepatitis B Surface Antibody And Antigen
An antigen is a substance that induces antibody production. Hepatitis B surface antigen is a protein on the surface of hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B surface antibodies are produced by the bodys immune system in response to HBsAg. The presence of adequate hepatitis B surface antibodies in the blood indicates protection against hepatitis B virus infection.
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How Hepatitis B Is Spread
The hepatitis B virus is found in the blood and bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal fluids, of an infected person.
It can be spread:
- from a mother to her newborn baby, particularly in countries where the infection is common
- within families in countries where the infection is common
- by having sex with an infected person without using a condom
- by having a tattoo, body piercing, or medical or dental treatment in an unhygienic environment with unsterilised equipment
Hepatitis B is not spread by kissing, holding hands, hugging, coughing, sneezing or sharing crockery and utensils.
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:
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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
Management Of Pregnant Hbv Carriers
Pregnant HBV carrier mothers present a unique opportunity to prevent transmission of HBV to their neonates. All infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers should receive hepatitis B immune globulin and a full course of HBV vaccination . Vaccine failure in the neonate is rare but does occur , and may be accounted for by transplacental transmission before birth. Follow-up testing of the neonate should be performed to confirm vaccination effectiveness. Testing should be performed for HBsAg to detect vaccine failures, anti-HBs to confirm a successful vaccine response and anti-HBc-Total to determine if the anti-HBs response was due to vaccination or resolution of natural infection. While testing for these markers is recommended one to two months after completion of the vaccine series, testing at approximately 18 months would ensure that the anti-HBc-Total test does not represent maternal antibody. This may be important because vaccination failures have occasionally been associated with HBV vaccine escape mutants that may only demonstrate a positive anti-HBc-Total as the sole marker of infection. These mutations occur in the open reading frame of the HBsAg, may not be recognized by antibodies induced by current HBV vaccine, and may not be detected by currently available HBsAg enzyme immunoassays . Clearly, surveillance systems need to be in place to ensure that HBV vaccines remain effective and vaccine escape mutants do not replace current HBV strains.
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How Did I Get It
There are several ways of getting hepatitis B. One way is by sexual contact with an infected person.
Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood and body fluids especially through anal sex. Other ways are by sharing personal items , and sharing needles or equipment for injection drug use. Healthcare and emergency service workers can get it through needle stick injuries or blood splashes in the eyes, nose, mouth or on broken skin.
When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who suspects that they have come into contact with HBV should consult a doctor as soon as possible.
A doctor can provide postexposure prophylaxis through the vaccines and a drug called hepatitis B immune globulin. PEP can prevent infection and liver damage.
A person should also contact a doctor if they notice any of the symptoms of hepatitis B or if they know they have hepatitis B, and their symptoms worsen.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that impacts the liver.
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Treatment Options For Hepatitis B
Acute hepatitis B usually doesnt require treatment. Most people will overcome an acute infection on their own. However, rest and hydration will help you recover.
Antiviral medications are used to treat chronic hepatitis B. These help you fight the virus. They may also reduce the risk of future liver complications.
You may need a liver transplant if hepatitis B has severely damaged your liver. A liver transplant means a surgeon will remove your liver and replace it with a donor liver. Most donor livers come from deceased donors.
When To Get Medical Advice
Hepatitis B can be serious, so you should get medical advice if:
- you think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus emergency treatment can help prevent infection if given within a few days of exposure
- you have symptoms associated with hepatitis B
- you’re at a high risk of hepatitis B high-risk groups include people born in a country where the infection is common, babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B, and people who have ever injected drugs
A blood test can be carried out to check if you have hepatitis B or have had it in the past.
The hepatitis B vaccine may also be recommended to reduce your risk of infection.
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Chronic Hbv Carriers At Greatest Risk Of Hepatic Sequelae
Sustained elevations in ALT, although an imperfect marker for hepatic damage, can help identify chronic HBV carriers at greatest risk of sequelae and those most likely to benefit from current treatments . Chronically infected patients with sustained ALT elevations greater than the upper limit of normal may be candidates for treatment and should undergo additional prognostic hepatitis marker testing as outlined below. Chronic carriers whose ALT is within the normal range should be tested for this marker periodically because ALT levels can fluctuate with this illness. Determination of ALT levels and HBV serological and nucleic acid markers, although valuable in following infection, is not adequate to assess the severity of infection and the resulting liver damage. Before appropriate treatment can be initiated, consultation with a specialist and assessment of the disease through histological examination of a liver biopsy is strongly recommended.
Detection Of Antiviral Resistance
Lamivudine monotherapy has been reported to be associated with the rapid emergence of antiviral resistance in 15% to 60% of treated individuals . Resistant HBV genomes have mutations in codon 552 within the YMDD motif of the reverse transcriptase/polymerase where a valine or isoleucine replaces the methionine. Resistance is typically clinically manifested by significant elevations in ALT after an initial decline in response to treatment. Prolonged treatment after development of the YMDD mutant is controversial, although improvement in liver pathology with decreased fibrosis may occur with continuation of treatment. Concerns about disease flares after stopping lamivudine have been raised . The development of genotypic resistance can be documented by molecular sequencing or by the INNO-LiPA HBV DR assay , which involves hybridization of amplified HBV-DNA fragments onto specific nucleotide probes that have been immobilized on nitrocellulose strips .
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If I Have No Symptoms How Would I Know If I Have Hepatitis B
To confirm whether or not you have hepatitis B, you will need blood tests.
If you have at least one risk factor , you should ask your health care provider to be tested for hepatitis B. Also, you should be tested for hepatitis B if:
- you were born in a region where hepatitis B is more common, including Asia, Africa, southern and eastern Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, and the Arctic
- one or both of your parents immigrated from a region where hepatitis B is more common
- you live or travel to regions where hepatitis B is more common
- you have a family history of liver disease or liver cancer
- you have been in prison
- you are pregnant
- you have ever used injection drugs, even just once
- you have unexplained abnormal liver enzymes or if
- you receive medicines that suppress the immune system.
What Should You Know About Hepatitis B Before You Travel
Hepatitis B is quite common in China and other Asian countries, where as many as 1 in 12 people have the virus, though many dont know it. Before traveling to those places, you should make sure youve been vaccinated against the virus.
In addition to getting the vaccine, you can take these additional precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the virus:
- Refrain from taking illegal drugs.
- Always use latex or polyurethane condoms during sex.
- Make sure new, sterile needles are used during all piercings, tattoos and acupuncture sessions.
- Avoid direct contact with blood and bodily fluids.
- Know the HBV status of all your sexual partners.
- Ask your doctor about possible vaccination before you travel to a place where hepatitis B is common.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause serious damage to your health. One reason that is dangerous is that it can easily go undetected for years while damaging your liver. Talk with your healthcare provider about being tested for hepatitis B if you have any reason to believe that you were not vaccinated or if you have engaged in risky behavior. If you do test positive, follow the directions from your healthcare provider so that you can live a longer, healthier and happier life.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/09/2020.
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The Hep B Blood Tests
There are 3 hep B tests called HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc. You should make sure your doctor does all three hep B tests. Our hep B testing chart can explain each test and help you to make sure your doctor does all the tests you need.
These three tests tell you if you have hep B, if you are protected against hep B , and if you have ever come into contact with hep B. Getting all three tests is important to helps you and our doctor understand your hep B status.
Do I Need A Hepatitis Panel
Few reasons that have prompted your healthcare provider to order the hepatitis panel for you are: You have exhibited some acute symptoms of hepatitis and the type of virus A, B, or C is not known. You carry an elevated risk of hepatitis infection due to recent exposure and a hepatitis panel may be recommended to determine the type of virus behind the hepatitis infection. Your doctor may ask you to undergo the test even in the absence of symptoms. If you show signs of liver damage, then the hepatitis panel test is a must for you. Some of the overriding symptoms that prompt a hepatitis panel test are: Loss of appetite Illegal drugs
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What Is The Purpose Of A Hepatitis B Test
Hepatitis B test is performed to detect, classify, and treat hepatitis B virus infection.
Hepatitis B blood tests involve the measurement of several HBV-specific antigens and antibodies. In addition, HBV blood tests also include liver enzymes and liver function tests to assess and monitor the condition of the liver and provide appropriate treatment.
The HBV specific tests include the following:
- HBsAg: HBsAg is an antigen found on the surface of hepatitis B virus. HBsAg may be detected in the blood any time after 1 week post-exposure to HB virus, but usually appears after 4 weeks.
- Anti-HBs: Anti-HBs are antibodies produced by the bodys immune system to fight HBsAg. Anti-HBs from a prior infection or vaccination provides immunity against further infection.
- Hepatitis B core antigen : HBcAg is an antigen found in the core layer which covers the hepatitis B viral DNA.
- Hepatitis B core antibody : Anti-HBc is the antibody that fights HBcAg. Anti-HBc is the first detectable antibody after HBV infection. There are two kinds of Anti-HBc:
- Immunoglobulin M hepatitis B core antibody : IgM anti-HBc indicates acute or reactivated recent infection within the previous 6 months.
- Immunoglobulin G hepatitis B core antibody : IgG anti-HBc may indicate previous or chronic infection. Once present, IgG anti-HBc persists for a lifetime.