A medical practitioner may order hepatitis B testing for several purposes:
1. Screening for Hepatitis B Virus: Screening tests are done to find a disease before a person develops symptoms or before the disease becomes serious. Many people with hepatitis B have no symptoms, so screening for this disease enables early detection so that patients can receive treatment and avoid unknowingly spreading the virus to others. Hepatitis B screening is recommended for all people because anyone is at risk of contracting this infection. The screening test for hepatitis B is called Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg).
2. Evaluating Hepatitis B infection: This enables the medical practitioner to determine if the infected person can spread the virus to others or not. The Hepatitis B Profile Test can identify whether a person has a current hepatitis B infection or not, whether the infection is acute or chronic, and whether a person can spread the virus to others.
3. Assessing past Hepatitis B virus infection and future immunity: Some type of tests for hepatitis B can show whether a person is immunity to Hepatitis B infection is due to either vaccination or to having recovered from a past infection. Again, Hepatitis B testing may also be used to assess whether vaccination successfully generated immunity and to identify patients who are at an increased risk of HBV reactivation or infection.
Monitoring HBV infections: Testing may be used after a person is diagnosed with hepatitis B to monitor the disease, detect complications, and assess response to treatment.
The diagnosis of hepatitis B virus infection requires the evaluation of the patient’s blood for HBsAg (Hepatitis B surface antigen): A “negative” or “non-reactive” HBsAg test result means that the person is not infected with hepatitis B. A person who tests negative is strongly recommended for vaccination.
A “positive” or “reactive” HBsAg test result means that the person is infected with hepatitis B. This test shows the actual presence of the hepatitis B virus (called the “surface antigen”) in the person’s blood. A positive HBsAg test result means that you are infected and can spread the hepatitis B virus to others.
If a person tests “positive,” then additional testing may be used to monitor the disease, provide guidelines for treatment, and determine if a person can spread Hepatitis B to others.
This test is known as the “Hepatitis B Profile Test.”
The Hepatitis B profile test involves the measurement of antigens and (or) antibodies to Hepatitis B. The result of this test can give an indication of recovery and immunity from HBV infection or successful immunity against HBV.
Again, the HBV profile test can help doctors understand the infectivity of the virus, which describes a person’s ability to spread HBV to others.
Hepatitis B Viral DNA Load: A hepatitis B viral DNA load test detects the virus’s genetic material and determines the viral load in the blood. A positive test indicates that the virus is multiplying in a person’s body, making that person contagious. The test is often used to monitor the effectiveness of antiviral therapy in people with chronic Hepatitis B infections.
To test for Hepatitis B screening test (HBsAg), Hepatitis B profile test, or Hepatitis B Viral DNA Load test, please book here or Call +233 592 360 072.