Testing for hep B involves a blood-test.
Should I get a hep B test?
You should get a hep B test if you think you’ve had a risk for hep B or if you:
- Have migrated to Australia from a country where hep B is very common (particularly China and South East Asian, and Pacific nations).
- Are an Aboriginal or a Torres Strait Islander person, as hep B is more common in your communities.
- Are someone who injects drugs.
- Are a man who has sex with men.
Where can I get a hep B test?
You can get a hep B test at your doctor. You can also go to a community health centre, or to a sexual health clinic. To find a doctor, health centre or clinic near you use the Directory on the left of this page.
What do my hep B test results mean?
Hep B surface antigen (HBsAg) – if you get a positive result on this test it means you have hep B.
Hep B surface antibody (HBsAb or anti-HBs) – if you get a positive result on this test it means you have developed immunity to hep B.
Hep B e antigen (HBeAg) – this test shows that the hep B virus is multiplying, and that it can be more easily passed on.
Hep B e antibody (HBeAb or Anti-HBe) – this test shows that your immune system has responded to the hep B virus.
Hep B core antibody (HBcAb or Anti-HBc) – a positive result on this this test shows that you have hep B now OR you had it in the past – you will need to have a different test done to find out if you currently have hep B.
Hep B DNA – this test is for people who have hep B. The result shows the amount of hep B virus in your bloodstream and indicates how actively the virus is multiplying. A high level indicates that treatment is needed.
This page was last updated 07 June 2016.
Primary sources for this page: HIV, Viral Hepatitis & STIs – a Guide for Primary Health Care (ASHM 2014), Hepatitis B Bear and You – Information about the different phases of hepatitis B infection (Dr Miriam Levy, Liverpool Hospital, 2013)