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Viral Hepatitis and Liver Disease

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Who and When to Test for Hepatitis A Infection or Immunity

for Health Care Providers

Who and When to Test for Infection or Immunity - Hepatitis A

Suspected acute viral hepatitis

  • Patients who are ill with suspected acute viral hepatitis A should be tested for Hep A IgM and Hep A IgG, along with ALT

Prior to vaccination: pre-vaccination testing

  • Some patients should be tested for existing immunity to hepatitis A, before vaccination; these patients should be tested only for Hep A IgG (not Hep A IgM)
  • Patients who should be tested prior to vaccination are those who have a reasonable likelihood of previous hepatitis A infection, such as:
    • People born in geographic areas with high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis A
    • Native Americans
    • Alaska Natives
    • Hispanics
    • Current or history of injection drug use
    • Current or history of high risk sexual behavior
    • People with direct contact with hepatitis A infected persons
    • People who are HIV positive
  • Most adult patients who are being considered for vaccination do NOT need to be tested prior to vaccination
  • Children being considered for vaccination do NOT need pre-vaccination testing