Types of Hepatitis B Tests Available Today
Hepatitis B is diagnosed by testing a blood sample for traces of the virus and viral antibodies.
There are three popular ways to get tested for Hepatitis B that don’t require a visit to your doctor: home STD test kits, online STD test labs and Free Test Clinics.
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The rest of this page explains more about each of these alternative testing methods.
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1. At-Home Test Kit
An at-home STD test is an inexpensive way to test for Hepatitis B. They are also fast, with results often available in 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, at-home tests for Hepatitis B are often less accurate than a test performed by a local clinic or an online STD test service.
If you test positive using an at-home HBV test, you should purchase a secondary lab test to confirm the result.
At-home Hepatitis B tests can be purchased online through the following merchants:
2. Online STD Test
Want to keep things private AND get lab-accurate results?
Then purchase an online STD test.
Online Hepatitis B Tests typically cost between $50 and $300.
STDCheck is the largest online test lab company in the US. They have a mobile friendly website & excellent customer reviews. Reasonable prices, too.
STDTestExpress is another solid choice with labs located in most major cities. Unlike other online labs, STDTestExpress bills your insurance provider directly, if you choose.
3. Free STD Test Clinic
Chances are, there’s a Free STD test clinic near you. Pretty much all of them test for Hepatitis B. Touch the link below to locate one near you.
- In the US: Find a Free STD Test Clinic near you (CDC Website)
- In the UK: FPA’s Clinic Locator
- In Canada: CFSH’s Point of Service Locator
- In Australia: MSHC’s STD Services Locator
- In New Zealand: Family Planning Service Finder
What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is an incurable, serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) . It is easily preventable by a vaccine if caught within the first couple of weeks past exposure. The disease can be treated using a variety of antiviral drugs.
HBV is spread through sexual contact, via blood transfusions and shared needles, and can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding.
Hepatitis B can cause serious harm to an infected person’s liver, leading to death, cancer or scarring if left untreated. In some people, it simply goes away.
Today, Hepatitis B is a relatively rare disease in the developed world. According to the CDC, about 15,000 cases of HVB are reported in the United States each year. However, more than one million Americans are carriers of the virus.
How Is Hepatitis B Transmitted?
Hepatitis B is transmitted when the infected region touches another person during anal, oral (giving or receiving) and vaginal sex. It cannot be spread through dirty toilets or by casual contact between people. That said,
- Full sexual penetration is not required to transmit Hepatitis B.
- Any contact with infected fluids or blood can transmit the disease.
Risk Factors of Hepatitis B
People who meet any of the following risk criteria should be regularly tested for Hepatitis B:
- have had unprotected sex with a person who may have had Hepatitis B
- are pregnant
- are a sex worker
- are a man who has sex with men
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be difficult to diagnose without an STD test because an infected person may never develop noticeable symptoms.
Common Symptoms of a Hepatitis B Infection
- darkened urine
- abdominal pain
- light-colored feces
- fatigue that lasts for weeks or longer
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
About 1/3 of infected adults never develop symptoms. Children often show no symptoms, but suffer the worst if left untreated.
Serious Health Issues For Hepatitis B
The following serious health issues may occur for people infected with the Hepatitis B virus:
- scarring of the liver
- liver cancer
- liver failure
- death due to cancer or liver failure.