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Should I get tested for Hepatitis B surface antigen?
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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?

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Avatar_m_tn
Sure, for you own peace of mind get tested. I think your chance of getting infected is slim.
8 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
bump.
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Avatar_m_tn
Sure, for you own peace of mind get tested. I think your chance of getting infected is slim.
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Avatar_m_tn
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?

thanks again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes, it should be very straight forward - whether the HBsAg is positve(reactive) or negative(non-reactive).
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Avatar_m_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
If negative, you should examine ur anti hbs if negative u have to be vaccinated..
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks pong58.

i just recieved my results. came back non-reactive (negative). should i now proceed by getting antibody titers checked? or should i go ahead and just get vaccinated now?

both are options. not sure which one i should do.
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Avatar_f_tn
Anti Hbs (titer) before vaccination
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