Hepatitis B Blood Test
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Hepatitis B is a contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It can be transmitted through sexual contact or contact with infected blood. If you have had unprotected sex or contact with blood and suspect you may have hepatitis B, it is wise to test yourself so appropriate treatment can be initiated and the spread of the virus can be minimized. This fingerprick test can be performed from home and provides laboratory-certified test results in days.
Test mode: Finger-prick
What do we test for?
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- Easy to use from home
- Professional analysis in a medically certified laboratory
- Most affordable home test provider
- Completely anonymous
About the test result
What does the result of this test mean?
Anyone who orders a home test from Homed-IQ will receive a complete laboratory report.
A negative test result means you don’t have hepatitis B and no treatment is needed.
A positive test result means that you have a current hepatitis B infection. Your test result will not be positive if you have only been vaccinated and not infected.
In event of a positive test result, we advise you to go to your own doctor with the laboratory report. They can then advise you of correct next steps, such as additional testing to determine whether you have an acute or chronic infection.
How results are shared
We understand that test results can be confusing. At Homed-IQ we make it as easy as possible for you to understand the test result.
In your personal online dashboard you can view your laboratory report as well as a clear and simple explanation of your test results.
How soon will I receive my test results?
You will receive the test result very quickly, often within one to three working days after your sample has arrived at our laboratory.
Summary of Biomarkers
Hepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is present in body fluids (blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk) and is spread when body fluids contaminated with the virus enter the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through childbirth, sexual contact, or contact with used needles. Hepatitis B is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing. Not all people infected with Hepatitis B have symptoms and many heal from the infection on their own. For others, Hepatitis B can become a chronic infection that, if left untreated, can lead to serious or life-threatening health problems, such as liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. Hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine and the best way to prevent infection is to get vaccinated. Chronic hepatitis B has no cure, but can be treated with antiviral drugs. People with chronic hepatitis B can live a long and healthy life with the right treatment and are not at risk of passing the virus on to others.
About the test
This antigen test shows whether you have contracted hepatitis B virus. The test consists of a blood test that you can easily perform from home. You will receive detailed instructions with your test on how to collect the sample. After collection, send your sample to our certified laboratory using the prepaid shipping label, where it will be analyzed. You will receive the results within a few days of the sample reaching the lab.
What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable inflammation of the liver caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. Transmission can take place from mother to child at birth, through sexual contact or contact with blood (RIVM, 2021). Hepatitis B is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing.
What is the window period for hepatitis B?
Every STI has a window period. This is the time between when an individual is infected and the moment that the STI is detectable with a test. The window period of hepatitis B is four weeks.
When should I consider taking a hepatitis B test?
If you are experiencing symptoms or have had unprotected sex, shared a toothbrush, or shared a needle with someone who has hepatitis B, you should get tested.
Additionally, many people with acute hepatitis B do not have any immediate symptoms. You may already have the virus and be contagious before experiencing any symptoms, or remain infected for an extended period without experiencing any symptoms at all. Individuals infected with hepatitis B remain contagious until the virus is cleared from their body, usually 4 to 8 weeks after onset. In some cases, acute hepatitis B will not be cleared by the body and progress to a chronic infection. This is why screening for hepatitis B as a part of routine STI screening is also recommended. Testing allows you to prevent further spread of the virus and access appropriate treatment if needed.
Symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the upper abdomen, on the right side
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Dark urine
- Light coloured stools.
Symptoms of acute infection usually last a few weeks. However, they can last up to 3 months.
Treatment and Prevention
What can you do to prevent hepatitis B?
There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B. This vaccination is included in the National Vaccination Programme in the Netherlands. Since 2012/2013, children have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B as part of standard childhood vaccinations.
In addition, you can take the following actions into account to prevent hepatitis B:
- Practice safe sex using barriers such as a condom.
- Do not share your toothbrush, razor, or nail scissors with others.
- Be careful with blood when dressing wounds and use waterproof bandages.
- Do not use hypodermic needles that have been used by others.
Is hepatitis B treatable?
Adults who get hepatitis B usually clear the virus on their own with no treatment. Sometimes, the virus remains in the body and develops into a lifelong condition, known as chronic hepatitis B. Why this happens is not known. People with chronic hepatitis B usually have no symptoms, but can infect others. Furthermore, they are at increased risk of liver failure, liver cancer, and scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).
Individuals with chronic hepatitis B should be examined by a healthcare provider regularly to prevent liver damage. In certain cases, people with chronic hepatitis B need medication to reduce the risk of liver damage and prevent spreading the disease to others.
What should you do if you are pregnant and may have hepatitis B?
If you are pregnant, your blood will be tested for hepatitis B by your healthcare provider as part of standard screening for expectant mothers. This happens in all of Western Europe. If a pregnant woman is infected with the hepatitis B virus, the baby will receive an injection immediately after birth. This injection contains substances that directly protect the child against hepatitis B.
How does it work?
Order your test
Activate and take your sample
Receive your test result
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We value the privacy of our customers; All Homed-IQ tests are completely anonymous
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Homed-IQ’s tests are analyzed in certified laboratories
Quick and easy
It’s simple to perform our self-tests from home
Frequently asked questions
Will my health insurer reimburse this home test?
We currently do not have any agreements with health insurers. At Homed-IQ we keep our tests as affordable as possible in order to be able to offer an alternative to a visit to, for example, a testing center and/or the GP.
Can I also test myself for other STDs with this hepatitis B test?
No, this home test only tests for hepatitis B. If you want to test yourself for other STDs, take a look at our other sexual health tests.
How can you cure hepatitis B?
In almost most people who contract the virus, hepatitis B disappears on its own within six months. If this does not happen and the inflammation is active, medicine can help. The treatment takes place in a hepatitis treatment center (Thuisarts, 2016). If the inflammation is not active, your doctor will check your blood every six months. The virus can also disappear on its own.
Can you live with hepatitis B?
Yes, usually hepatitis B does not cause any symptoms and the infection disappears on its own. However, a small proportion of people develop chronic hepatitis B. During active chronic hepatitis B, serious liver problems can develop. Inactive chronic hepatitis B usually causes no symptoms.
Is Hepatitis B deadly?
In chronic active hepatitis B, liver cirrhosis or liver cancer can develop. This can lead to death if untreated.
What is the danger of hepatitis B?
Five to ten percent of people with hepatitis B do not heal on their own. In newborns and small children this is ninety percent. A chronic infection then develops. An active chronic Hepatitis B infection can cause damage to the liver after ten to twenty years. These people can also eventually develop liver cancer.
What happens if you don’t treat hepatitis B?
Individuals infected with hepatitis B remain contagious until the virus has cleared their bodies, usually 4 to 8 weeks after onset. In some cases, acute hepatitis B will not be cleared by the body and will progress to a chronic infection.
Which people are at increased risk of hepatitis B?
- People born in a country where hepatitis B is common.
- Sex workers
- Men who have sex with other men without being vaccinated against hepatitis B.
- People who travel for more than three months in a country where hepatitis B is common.
- Persons who have a profession where they often come into contact with needles or blood.
What can you do to prevent hepatitis B?
The most important thing you can do to prevent hepatitis B is to have sex with a condom. Furthermore, it is important to be careful with blood from other people. It is therefore best not to share razor blades, nail scissors, syringes, or toothbrushes. You can also get vaccinated against the virus. In the Netherlands this is recommended for people who are at increased risk (GGD Amsterdam, 2022).
What percent of the population has hepatitis B?
In the Netherlands, approximately 40,000 people have hepatitis B (Atlasinfectious diseases.nl, 2022). This concerns reports of acute hepatitis B, not chronic hepatitis B.
How do you get infected with hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus. This virus exists in blood, semen, and vaginal fluid. This means you can become infected if the infected body fluids of someone with Hepatitis B else are able to enter your body. Adults are most commonly infected through unprotected sex. You can also become infected by a prick with an infected needle or by using an infected toothbrush or razor. Babies can contract the virus at birth, if their mother has it. Pregnant women with hepatitis B can pass the infection to their baby during delivery (Thuisarts, 2016).