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  • Chlamydia
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  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
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Test for hepatitis B at home

Hepatitis B is a virus that can infect the liver. Most people get better without treatment. But for some people, the virus stays in the body and develops into a chronic infection. It can damage the liver and so needs long-term treatment and management.

Do I need a hepatitis B test?

Hepatitis B can be passed on through sex without a condom. It is also transmitted in various other ways, such as sharing drug injecting equipment, and unsterilised tattoo or piercing needles.

Some people are at higher risk of hepatitis B, including people who:

  • have injected drugs.
  • regularly have sex without a condom with new partners.
  • were born in a country where hepatitis B is common.

If you think you might have been exposed to hepatitis B in the last few days, ask your GP or a sexual health clinic about emergency treatment to stop the virus.

Getting tested means that if you have hepatitis B, you can be given any treatment that you might need, and that you won’t pass it on to sexual partners without knowing.

When do symptoms for hepatitis B appear?

Not everyone with hepatitis B gets symptoms. Many people have it and recover from it, without knowing. But even if you don’t have symptoms, you can still pass it on to other people.

If you do get symptoms, they are most likely to appear 2 or 3 months after you first have the hepatitis B virus.

Hepatitis B symptoms

Symptoms of hepatitis B may include:

  • Feeling tired and achy, like you have flu.
  • Tummy pain.
  • High temperature.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Feeling or being sick.
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and whites of eyes).

Symptoms usually go away after a few months. But in some people the virus can stay in the body for 6 months or longer. This is known as chronic hepatitis B.

When should I get tested for hepatitis B?

A test can’t always detect hepatitis B in the first few months after infection.

If it’s less than 3 months since you might have been exposed to hepatitis B, you can still do a test now but if it is negative, you may need another test later.

If you have symptoms and think you could have hepatitis B, see your GP or a sexual health service for advice.

A vaccination against hepatitis B is available on the NHS. If you test negative but think you might be at risk of Hepatitis B in the future, ask your GP or sexual health clinic about it, as they may be able to vaccinate you.

What test do I need for hepatitis B?

Our hepatitis B test is a blood test for both men and women. It is available as part of our Comprehensive STI Screen.

You’ll need to take a blood sample from your finger. This only takes 5 or 10 minutes to do and shouldn’t be too painful. We’ll send everything you need, along with guidance on how to do take the sample. We have detailed guidance to help with collecting your samples.

Our hepatitis B tests are for people with no symptoms. If you have symptoms, get advice from your GP or a sexual health clinic.

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Hepatitis B home test results

How quickly will I get my hepatitis B test results?

You’ll usually get your hepatitis B test results in 2 to 5 days.

When your results are ready, we’ll contact you with details of how to access them securely online.

You can choose whether we contact you by text or email.

What happens if I get a positive hepatitis B test result?

If you test positive for hepatitis B you should see your GP or a sexual health clinic. You can show them your online test result or print it out.

We will give you details of local services that can help you with treatment and advice.

Treatment depends on whether you have any symptoms and how long you have had the virus. If you have hepatitis B that lasts for more than 6 months, it’s known as chronic hepatitis B and it’s possible you may need treatment and monitoring for the rest of your life. This affects around 1 in 20 people with hepatitis B.

Current or recent sexual partners and any people that you live with, may need to be tested for hepatitis B. If they test negative, they should ask a doctor about being vaccinated against the virus. Sexual health services may be able to help you contact partners anonymously.

Don’t have any sex until your sexual partner(s) have been vaccinated against hepatitis B or it’s confirmed that you no longer have the virus.

Once you’ve had hepatitis B you can’t get it again, but you could still get other types of hepatitis.

How confidential is my hepatitis B test?

Our service is completely confidential. We won’t tell anyone else about your hepatitis B test and we don’t share your results with anyone else. All our tests are delivered in plain packaging.

If your hepatitis B test is positive, you will need to share your result with your GP or a sexual health clinic to be able to access advice and treatment if you need it.

See our FAQs for more information on how we keep your data secure.

How accurate are hepatitis B tests?

No tests are 100% accurate but all our tests are carried out by a leading testing laboratory.

As long as a test is done at the right time, our blood tests are very accurate at detecting hepatitis B.

It’s advised to have a test at least 3 months after you may last have been exposed to hepatitis B. If you test earlier than 3 months after exposure then your test may be negative even though you do have hepatitis B.

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