Three reasons to have a Hepatitis B test with Better2Know:
- Hepatitis B is highly infectious and can survive outside of the body for up to seven days
- Better2Know's private Hepatitis B testing provides fast and accurate results
- Hepatitis B can lead to serious health complications if you do not receive the right treatment
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a virus which infects the liver. It is one of the most infectious blood borne viruses (BBVs) and can survive on exposed surfaces, even after cleaning. Patients' symptoms and treatment needs can vary significantly. Usually, initial symptoms will come on quickly and a period of rest and recuperation should see a vast improvement. Most patients will not experience any long term effects. However, around 20% of patients will have an illness that lasts for longer than six months. For the minority of these patients, a chronic infection, cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure may develop.
Hepatitis B is typically transmitted through bodily fluids or contact with infected blood. It can therefore be sexually transmitted. The infection is highly contagious and there does not need to be a lot of blood (or other bodily fluids) present to transmit the virus.
As well as unprotected sexual intercourse, infection commonly occurs through the sharing of contaminated needles (e.g. intravenous drugs use), accidental injury with a contaminated needle (tattooing, body piercing or acupuncture) and the sharing of contaminated razors. People who work with blood, such as laboratory staff, healthcare workers, fire and rescue staff, are advised to get vaccinated, or tested regularly.
If your exposure was in the last 72 hours, please consider getting the Hepatitis B vaccine to prevent you getting the virus.
Symptoms of an acute Hepatitis B infection can include:
- Muscle aches
- Darker urine than normal
Did You Know
As many as 160,000 people in Australia are estimated to have a chronic Hepatitis B infection. Read more.
With Better2Know, you can be tested for Hepatitis B to see if you have the infection, and an immunity test to see if you are immune from Hepatitis B. A small blood sample is needed for your private test.
If your exposure to Hepatitis B was high risk, it is recommended to repeat your test 4 to 6 weeks later.
Most people with Hepatitis B who take sufficient rest over a period of weeks and months will make a full recovery, and do not require any specific treatment. However, it remains important for your doctor to monitor the infection, to assess whether there are any complications or longer term effects. If you feel ill for longer than six months, you may find that medication is needed to reduce the risk of permanent damage to your liver and your health. In this instance, your doctor should refer you to a specialist in either liver disease (a hepatologist) or general digestive diseases (a gastroenterologist). They will recommend the appropriate medication for you.
A long-term Hepatitis B infection can lead to liver damage, i.e. liver failure and liver cancer. A Hepatitis B infection can weaken your immune system increasing your risk of contracting other infections, such as HIV. If you are pregnant, please seek the advice of your midwife.
Booking your Hepatitis B test
Contact our experienced Patient Services team on the phone number above to book your Hepatitis B test with Better2Know. You can also arrange your appointment online today by selecting the Book Now button at the top of the page.