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Should I get tested for hep B?


Many people with hepatitis B have no signs of illness and do not realise they have the virus in their body. You should get a test if you think you have been in a situation where you could have been exposed, or if you:

  • have migrated to Australia from a country/region where hep B is very common (particularly migrants from endemic areas, such as Africa, the Asia and Pacific regions and the Middle East).
  • are an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander person, as hep B is more common in your communities.
  • inject drugs/anabolic steroids and share injecting equipment.
  • are a man who has sex with men.

You can ask your doctor about having a blood test for hepatitis B. You can also go to a community health centre or a sexual health clinic.

Hepatitis B is diagnosed through three diagnostic tests on one blood sample, which look for markers of the hepatitis B virus in the blood. In order to order the tests simultaneously, the doctor should request “chronic hepatitis B” for testing.

Antibodies can be produced in response to successful hepatitis B vaccination or developed with the resolution of acute hepatitis B infection.

Return to main Hepatitis B page