Should I get tested for Hepatitis B surface antigen?
a few days ago, it was confirmed that my brother has been infected with hepatitis b. doctors are currently not sure whether it is an acute infection, or reactivation of a chronic infection.
i'm concerned for him, but also myself. in the past, i have definitely shared razor blades with him. there is no question about this. i feel fine, no symptoms. but a few months ago (possibly more than a few months ago), i do recall having gray stools for a few days. i was alarmed, but didn't seek medical help, because it went away after a few days on its own.
i can't remember if the gray stools were because of a barium swallow i had at the time, i had a CT for an unrelated complaint (lower left abdominal pain). I think I had the barium swallow months before the appreacnce of the gray stool. Or, if the gray stools were because of my change in diet.
my brother currently has jaundice, nausea, vomiting, etc. i have a strong feeling that he is homosexual, but he hasn't come out yet. it's a very difficult time for him, and my family.
i'm wondering how worried should i be right now, both for him, and for myself? should i go to one of those lab test companies, and just get a HBsAg test done anonymously (without wanting to alarm my brother, or my parents), to rule out infection for myself? or am i overreacting?
thanks for the input, stephen. i actually did go to a center to get a blood test.
i asked for HbsAg test. is that the correct one? i don't have insurance, so a doctor will not be reading/explaining the test results to me.
will it be relatively straight forward to interpret the test result by myself? what are some things to look for? is it a simple Positive or Negative? and am i correct to say that Reactive means Positive (i'm acutely or chronically infected), and that Negative (or non reactive), means i don't have anything to worry about, and can start getting vaccinated for hep b?
haven't recieved the results yet. if its negative, does that completely rule out hepatitis b? or are there a select few cases where a negative result could still mean i'm infected with chronic/acute hepatitis b, but that its just not detectable, for whatever reason...
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