Hepatitis B Testing
At Private Medical Clinic, we understand the importance of informed decision-making when it comes to your health. Hepatitis B is a serious infection, and being well-informed is the first step towards prevention and early detection.
Testing for Hepatitis B is crucial for early detection and effective management. Our clinic offers instant tests for Hepatitis B. If you suspect any risk factors or experience symptoms, it’s essential to consult with our experienced GPs for testing and guidance.
£65 per dose
Primary course of 3 vaccines
In childhood schedule
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that primarily targets the liver, leading to acute illness and potentially causing long-lasting damage. This global health challenge affects millions of individuals across nearly every continent. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were approximately 296 million cases of Hepatitis B in 2019, resulting in an alarming 820,000 deaths attributed to liver damage and liver cancer. The highest concentration of cases can be found in the WHO Western Pacific and African regions.
Unlike Hepatitis A, which is typically self-limiting, Hepatitis B can lead to chronic liver problems and does not have specific treatments other than antiviral agents that help slow down disease progression. Infants and children are particularly vulnerable, as approximately 95% of cases in this age group result in significant long-term liver issues. Conversely, only 5% of adult infections lead to chronic hepatitis. It’s crucial to note that many individuals newly infected with Hepatitis B may not experience any symptoms initially. However, some people may develop jaundice, dark urine, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pains, which can eventually lead to liver failure and, in severe cases, even death. Long-term carriers of the virus are also at risk of developing chronic liver damage and liver cancer.
Hepatitis B Testing
There are three essential hepatitis B tests: HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc. It is crucial to ensure that your healthcare provider conducts all three of these hepatitis B tests. To facilitate this, our hepatitis B testing chart provides a detailed explanation of each test, assisting you in ensuring that your doctor performs the necessary tests.
These three tests serve distinct purposes: they determine if you have hepatitis B, ascertain whether you are immune to hepatitis B (perhaps due to vaccination), and assess if you have ever been exposed to hepatitis B. Obtaining all three tests is of paramount importance as it aids both you and your healthcare provider in comprehensively understanding your hepatitis B status.
How is Hepatitis B transmitted?
Hepatitis B spreads through contaminated bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, semen, and vaginal fluids. In the United Kingdom, the virus is commonly found in communities that engage in injectable drug use. Additionally, unvaccinated individuals with multiple sexual partners are at a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B.
In developing nations, the primary mode of transmission occurs from mother to baby during childbirth or between infected and uninfected children under the age of five. A shocking fact is that the Hepatitis B virus can survive on surfaces outside of the body for up to seven days, maintaining its infectious potential even after a week. This underscores the importance of taking preventive measures, as the virus can still cause infections even after some time has passed.
Recommendations to prevent infection:
As a traveller, you can minimise your risk of contracting Hepatitis B by following certain preventive measures. While the risk is generally low, it’s essential to be proactive about your health and well-being. Here are some steps you can take to prevent Hepatitis B infection:
- Choose Reputable Medical Facilities: If you are travelling for medical procedures or medical tourism, ensure that the facility you visit is reputable and maintains strict infection control procedures. Thoroughly research the healthcare provider before undergoing any medical treatments.
- Practise Safe Sex: If you engage in sexual activities while travelling, it’s crucial to use barrier methods, such as condoms, to reduce the risk of transmission. Hepatitis B can be found in vaginal fluids and semen, so taking precautions can significantly lower the chances of infection.
- Avoid Risky Behaviours: Steer clear of activities that may lead to exposure to contaminated bodily fluids. These include sharing needles or syringes, getting tattoos or piercings from unregulated or unhygienic establishments, and sharing personal care items like toothbrushes or razors.