Hepatitis B is passed between people through the transmission of bodily fluids like blood, semen and vaginal fluids. It is possible for an infected woman to pass the infection onto her developing baby. In the case of this illness, too, you can have tests done that screen for sexually transmitted infections. These tests seek to identify markers or signs of infection in the body and may be ordered on presentation of symptoms like fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, pale stools, dark urine, jaundice and joint pain. Antigen, antibody and DNA tests are usually order to confirm the presence of the Hepatitis B disease but your doctor may also want to perform liver tests like ALT, AST and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) to evaluate how far the disease has progressed. Sometimes your doctor may also order a liver biopsy for confirmation.

Antigens are markers produced by viruses and bacteria. If a test reveals the presence of HBV antigens in the body it means the person has the infection. The Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is tested for early after exposure to the virus. The antigen appears before symptoms of infections present and can be done immediately after coming into contact with the virus. If tests show the antigen is present for six months or longer it is likely to be an indication if a lifelong Hepatitis B infection and you may pass the disease onto other people.

The Hepatitis B e-antigen tests for the presence of a HBV protein that indicates the HB injection is still in active phase. It will reveal how contagious your condition is.

Antibodies are proteins that the body generates to fight off infections. If you test positive for HBV antibodies it is a sign your body is trying to fight the virus off. The Hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) usually presents four weeks after HBsAg. If you test positive for this antibody it means the virus is close to reaching the end of its active phase and you are no longer contagious or unlikely to pass it onto other people. It also ensures that you will not get the virus again as you will have developed immunity to it. If the test comes out positive for both HBsAb and HBsAg then you are still contagious.

DNA of HBV can also show an infection in the body. The amount of DNA that is present is an indication of how severe the infection is. The Hepatitis B DNA STD tests measure how much of the virus’ genetics is in your body. If you have high levels of DNA it means the virus is multiplying and you are highly likely to pass the infection on. When you have chronic Hepatitis B and your HB DNA levels are high it means you are at increased risk of liver damage and should be taking antivirals.