What is the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
The HBsAg Test, or Hepatitis B test, as medical experts call it, is a blood test used to detect the presence of the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus. HBsAg indicates that a person is infected with the hepatitis B virus and can transmit the virus to others. The test is used as a diagnostic tool to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for hepatitis B infection.
About the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test
The hepatitis B test is a critical component in diagnosing and managing hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBV is a highly contagious virus that attacks the liver and can cause acute or chronic liver disease.
HBsAg is the first antigen to appear in an infected person's blood and is used to indicate an ongoing HBV infection. When a person gets infected with HBV, the virus replicates and produces HBsAg, which can be detected in the blood. If the test is positive for HBsAg, the person is infected with the virus and can spread it to others through their blood or bodily fluids.
The HBsAg Test is used to screen individuals for HBV infection, monitor the course of the disease, and evaluate the effectiveness of treatment. In some cases, a positive HBsAg Test result may be followed by other tests, such as the hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) test or the hepatitis B antigen (HBeAg) test, to determine the severity and stage of the infection and to guide treatment decisions.
Why do I need the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
Healthcare professionals use the Hepatitis B test to detect the presence of the surface antigen of the Hepatitis B virus in your blood. The antigen indicates that the Hepatitis B virus is actively replicating in your body, which means you are infected with the virus.
This test is essential because:
It allows early identification of Hepatitis B infection, which is crucial for early treatment and management.
It helps monitor the effectiveness of treatment, as a decline in HBsAg levels can indicate that the treatment is working.
It screens blood donors to ensure that donated blood is free from Hepatitis B, thereby reducing the risk of transmitting the virus through transfusions.
It helps determine if you are a carrier of the virus, which means you can spread the virus to others even if you have no symptoms.
By clearly understanding the purpose of the HBsAg Test, you can make informed decisions about your health and take appropriate steps to protect yourself and others from Hepatitis B.
What does the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test measure?
The HBsAg blood test measures the presence of the Hepatitis B virus surface antigen in a person's blood, indicating current infection with the virus.
How do I prepare for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
To prepare for the Hepatitis B test, doctors advise you to:
Avoid alcohol consumption 24 hours before the test.
Fast (not eat or drink anything except water) for 8-12 hours before the test.
Inform the healthcare provider of any medications or supplements being taken.
Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that you can easily roll up during the blood sampling.
It is also essential to let the healthcare provider know if there is any concern about possible exposure to Hepatitis B. It will help determine the appropriate test to be done.
What sample is required for the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
The sample required for the HBsAg blood test is a blood sample.
What happens during a Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
During a Hepatitis B blood test, a healthcare provider will take a sample of your blood. The blood sample is then sent to a laboratory for analysis, where it is tested for the presence of the HBsAg protein on the surface of the Hepatitis B virus.
What are the risks involved in Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test?
No significant risks are involved in an HBsAg Test, as it's simple, quick, and safe. The only discomfort you may experience is a slight pinch or sting when the needle is inserted into your arm to draw blood.
There is a minimal risk of infection or bleeding at the needle site. Some people may experience mild swelling, redness, or bruise, but these side effects last only a few days.
Overall, the benefits of getting tested for Hepatitis B far outweigh any minor risks or discomforts associated with the test.
Finding the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test
Are you trying to understand whether you can get your HBsAg Test at home or your nearest diagnostic center? Give this section a read and find out more.
Can I take the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test at home?
You can take a home test kit for Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg), which is widely available online or at local pharmacies. These kits typically use a small blood sample obtained by pricking a finger and provide results within minutes.
However, it's important to note that the accuracy of these tests may vary, and you should always get your positive result confirmed through another test conducted at a reliable diagnostic center.
You can even call a professional from your nearest diagnostic center to get your blood sample collected from the comfort of your home.
How much does the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test cost?
The HBsAg Test cost/price depends on the diagnostic center you choose to get it done. In most cases, if you have insurance coverage, it covers the expense of the test, else you can always purchase a new plan at affordable rates.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test Results
You received your Hepatitis B test results but still need help determining if you have antibodies in the normal range. Read this section to understand how best to analyze your HBsAg Test report and how to go about your diagnosis with your healthcare professional.
What do the Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) Test results mean?
The HBsAg Test is used to detect the presence of the hepatitis B surface antigen, a marker for the hepatitis B virus. The test results can have the following meanings:
Positive (detected): A positive HBsAg Test means you're currently infected with the hepatitis B virus.
Negative (not detected): A negative test result for HBsAg means you're currently not infected with the hepatitis B virus. However, this does not guarantee that you have not been infected in the past.
It's important to note that false positive or false negative results may sometimes occur in the HBsAg report, and additional tests, such as the Hepatitis B virus DNA test, may be needed to confirm the HBsAg Test results. Some doctors even recommend an HBsAg Test in pregnancy, especially in early prenatal visits. If HBsAg is positive, they recommend getting tested for HBV DNA.
What is an HBsAg Test normal range?
HBsAg normal range is negative, meaning that the presence of HBsAg in the blood is not detected. A positive test result indicates that an individual is infected with the hepatitis B virus.
What medical conditions can cause a high HBsAg level?
A high level of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the blood can indicate chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Other medical conditions that can cause a high HBsAg level include:
Acute HBV infection
Carrier state of HBV
Reactivation of HBV in people with a history of HBV infection
However, you must undertake a proper medical evaluation, and additional tests, such as an HBV DNA test, to confirm the diagnosis and determine the cause of elevated HBsAg levels.
What medical conditions can cause a low HBsAg level?
Several medical conditions can cause a low HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) level, including:
Treatment with antiviral medications can suppress the virus and lower the HBsAg level.
If your immune system is weak, a scenario typical for people with HIV or who are undertaking a cancer treatment
A naturally occurring decline in HBsAg level is seen over time in some people with chronic hepatitis B.
The development of hepatitis B immunity following vaccination or natural infection can also lower HBsAg levels.
It's important to note that a low HBsAg level does not necessarily mean the absence of hepatitis B infection, as the virus may still be present in the liver. Therefore, further testing, such as Hepatitis B viral load or antibody tests, is often needed to confirm the status.
Why Choose HealthcareOnTime?
HealthcareOnTime is a committed and experienced group of medical specialists who deliver exceptional healthcare services to patients nationwide. To make healthcare more accessible, we offer convenient at-home testing options at an economical cost.
One of our signature services is the HBsAg Test, available at your preferred location and time. Our specialists always strive to give you a professional and stress-free experience. So, if you choose to have the test done at a diagnostic center, our team will assist in scheduling an appointment.
At HealthcareOnTime, we believe in providing affordable and accessible healthcare. Our medical packages are budget-friendly and available 24/7, including in emergencies. Trust us as your healthcare partner to take charge of your health with exceptional care and support.
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HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) positivity indicates an active hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. HBsAg in the blood indicates that the individual can transmit the virus to others.
Most people with HBV infection do not show any symptoms and may not even be aware they have the virus. However, symptoms include fatigue, muscle and joint aches, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, jaundice, dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, and itching.
You may have hepatitis B if you have any warning signs, including fatigue, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, joint pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, clay-colored bowel movements, and itching.
The leading cause of hepatitis B is infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
Hepatitis B is not curable.
A hepatitis B infection can last around six months or so. There is no full recovery as the disease is not curable.