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Viral Hepatitis

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Tests for Hepatitis B

for Veterans and the Public

What tests will you have to do?

You can be tested for hepatitis B at your VA medical center. This test is done by taking a sample of your blood.

Your doctor may ask you to do the following tests:

  • Hepatitis B surface antibody(Anti-HBs)
    If this test is positive, it means that
    • you have antibodies against hepatitis B and are safe from getting the disease
    • you were either vaccinated against hepatitis B or exposed to it at some point in your lifetime
  • Hepatitis B core antibody (Anti-HBc)
    If the test is positive, it means that
    • you have been exposed to hepatitis B and have developed an antibody to only part of the virus
    • they will do more tests to find out if you have the disease
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)
    If this test is positive, it means that
    • you do currently have hepatitis B infection
    • you can spread the virus to others

  • Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)
    If this test is positive, it means that
    • you may have very active hepatitis B and should be followed closely by your doctor and possibly take hepatitis B medications
    • you may be very contagious to others