Hello everyone -
I think I may have had an exposure 5 weeks ago. What is the best test I can do now to see if I've picked up the virus? I've read different things (HBV DNA test, PCR test, antibody tests). Seems like the DNA is the earliest indicator? How long do I need to wait? I'm anxious and would really like to find out now.
Thanks for any insight you can provide.
You may not have been exposed. If you have, your test may show positive HBsAg and positive HBeAg now, you may have some acute symptoms. Because you are adult now, you have 95% chance to clear HBV. Be liver friendly (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-b/DS00398/DSECTION=10). In 6 months, your tests, you hope, will show negative HBsAg, positive anti-HBc, positive anti-HBs, and positive anti-HBe, negative anti-HBc IgM. You may never have to worry about DNA, etc.
Thanks for the reply. The HBsAg and positive HBeAg results you're describing sound like anitbody tests... am I right? My understanding is that these aren't really definitive as early as five weeks; more like three months or so.
I'm hoping not to have to wait six months to find out though. Would the DNA test (going to the doctors office on Monday) show definatively whether I'd picked up the virus or not?
I'm a pretty heavy drinker (although have taperd off considerably since the potential exposure). Would this hinder my bodies ability to clear the virus... assuming I had been exposed?
Thanks for your reply!
OK, thanks. But getting a bit more confused and worried now. I'll lay off the alcohol. But what do you mean by monitoring my liver? Other tests? Not sure if I have the virus or not at this point.
I know you say not to worry about a DNA test at this point... but if an antibody test won't show anything for a while, wouldn't the DNA test give me a good indicator if the virus is present before the body starts to fight it off?
I really want to get at least some initial indication now. I'll take the antibody test at 3 months or so... but until then?
Do you have a doctor following you? That is step one. If your HBsAg and HBeAg are negative, you don't have the virus now. Just have your doctor follow you. You do what are liver friendly and your body may clear HBV for you.
No, I don't have a doctor following me yet. It's five weeks past my potential exposure. I have a doctor appt on Monday to talk about it.
I did a regular antibody test at about 3 1/2 weeks after exposure. And they said all three (believe surface antibody, surface antigen and e-antigen were negative). But I'm realizing now this test was meaningless because it was done too early... correct?
I was hoping, and still not understanding completely, that a DNA test would tell if the virus was present. If it were present, I would know and take care of myself and pray my body clears it. If it didn't show up, I would take care of myself and breathe a sigh of relief.
Is this reasonable? (Thanks for your patience with all this.)
If a person was to test after 3 months for HBsAg (virus) and was negative, how could one possibly be infected 3 months later? If the virus isn't present, how could you still be infected? Sorry if this sounds like a dumb question but I'm totally confused. Thanks.
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