Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
Hepatitis B is a self-containing viral infection attacking the liver. It can be acute and get resolved on its own; or, chronic that may lead to numerous complications and even death. Getting tested for the hepatitis B surface antigen can help identify an active infection. It is an effective tool to screen, diagnose and follow-up on the course of the disease. This test is a qualitative test and will only provide a positive or negative result.
What is Hepatitis B?
The liver is the largest organ in our body. It is in charge of digesting food, storing energy, and removing toxins. When a person contracts hepatitis, delivered becomes inflamed. A hepatitis B infection is caused by the hepatitis b virus.
There are five different types of hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis B is normal spread through blood, seminal fluids, and vaginal secretions. Once infected, it may take many months first sentence to start appearing. The virus infects the liver and clears up, from the system, within six months. In some cases, the virus would not clear within this given period. This is referred to as a chronic hepatitis B infection that could cause damages and scarring to the liver, as well as liver cirrhosis and cancer.
There is a big difference between an acute and chronic hepatitis B infection. The first one last a maximum of six months. It can be cleared by the immune system; and, the infected person would be able to recover completely within few months. The second lasts for more than six months because they the immune system cannot fight it off. It lingers for as long as a lifetime and can cause serious damage and our body. Younger people, who are not vaccinated with the hepatitis B, are at high risk of the infection becoming chronic. Also, people that are sixty years and older have the same risk.
According to the Hepatitis B Foundation, hepatitis b is a global public health threat that is infecting two billion people worldwide; and, causing the death of eight hundred and eighty-four thousand people every year due to complications. In the United States, eighty thousand Americans become infected every year and are being added to the two million Americans that are chronically infected. The foundation adds that thousands of people are dying every year, in the united states, because of hepatitis B.
This infection can be maintained, by regularly being tested; and taking few preventive measures. Administering the hepatitis B vaccine is the best way to prevent the virus from damaging our body. The vaccine is normally given as three or four injections. Other ways to reduce the risk of hepatitis B are keeping track of the hepatitis B status of any sexual partner you come in close contact with; stop using illegal drugs and sharing needles with possibly infected people; and being cautious about body piercings and tattoos. Also, using a new latex condom every time you have sex can reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Finally, before planning any vacation trip, make sure you understand the prevalence of the hepatitis B virus in the country you are visiting.
Why take the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test?
The hepatitis B surface antigen test measures the levels of proteins, called antigens, that are found on the surface of hepatitis B virus. These antigens are normally found in the blood of an infected person, few weeks after exposure. These antigens are the earliest sign of this virus.
This test is the best tool to diagnose a liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis B virus. If you are at high risk of contracting hepatitis B; then, you need to be checked routinely. Risk factors include having unprotected sex with an infected person, being in close contact with someone who is infected, being gay or bisexual, sharing needles with infected people, working in a healthcare center around the infection, being a baby who was born of a hepatitis B positive mom.
Aside from screening and diagnosing an active infection, this test is helpful to follow up and assess the course of treatment chosen to manage the infection.
What can cause faulty results?
Medications and natural supplements do not have any effect on the results. However, you may want to share with your health care provider about any medicine or vitamin you might be taking.
What your Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test results mean?
A positive hepatitis B surface antigen test result indicates that the person is infected with hepatitis B. such a result will need to be followed by other tests to make a more accurate diagnosis. Positive results also indicate that the infection is active; and, the infected person can spread hepatitis B to others. A negative test result indicates the absence of the virus in the system.
Where can I get a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen test near me?
Please use our Lab Locator to find find a convenient testing location.
Choose the test you want (be sure to pick the laboratory you want to use).
Pay by credit card or PayPal®.
You pay directly and we do not bill your insurance.
(Note: to preserve lowest possible per test pricing, a single $10.00 lab fee is applied to one or more blood tests. You will not incur any additional charges at the lab.)
After purchasing your testing you will receive an email with your lab requisition. Bring this form to the laboratory.
NOTE: Be sure to visit the appropriate laboratory!
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If you choose Quest Diagnostics only visit a Quest location!
No appointment is needed, but making one can minimize your wait time.
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If you have selected the option to have an At Home Test Kit delivered to you, you will receive your test kit in the mail within 5 to 7 business days. (Not all tests are available as At Home Test Kits.)
We’ll email you when your results are ready. Sign into your account to view and download your result reports.
Certain result values may prompt a phone call from our ordering provider to ensure the patient is aware of their result.
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