Hepatitis B Community
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Avatar universal

Testing questions

I tested negative / non-reactive for Hep B and Hep C three and a half months after a possible exposure to the virus.  Do I need to be re-tested?  I ask this due to the persistent "full feeling" under my ribs, on the right side of my body.  Also, do people often test negative AFTER showing symptoms for as long as I have been showing them?  I find it hard to believe that a person can have pain in the liver area and bowel problems for three and a half months and test negative if they have the disease.  It just stands to reason that a normally healthy person would test positive over that period of time if they had symptoms.
10 Responses
948882 tn?1270557407
You need to see a doctor for your symptoms. It is not necessary all Hep-B patients have symptoms (in fact majority do not even know that they have the virus in the body).

Avatar universal
I saw a doctor.  He tested me and I tested negative for HepB & HepC.  I told him that the possible exposure was three and a half months prior to the test.  He told me that the test would show if I had the virus.  The test was negative.  My quetion is this:  Is a negative test result at 3-1/2 months conclusive?  In other words, can I put this behind me and begin worrying about other causes?  Is there a percentage of people who take longer than 3-1/2 months to test positive?  
751470 tn?1268502109
Is a negative test result at 3-1/2 months conclusive?
For B - Yes. For C - ask in the next room: folks here are likely to not know.
948882 tn?1270557407
Here is a site that talks about potentially 6 months period for incubation.


> Is a negative test result at 3-1/2 months conclusive?  
      Most cases, yes. But not 100%

> In other words, can I put this behind me and begin worrying about other causes?
      I think you should put the worries behind and take on managing your symptoms, whether they are related to Hep-B or not.

> Is there a percentage of people who take longer than 3-1/2 months to test positive?
       Per the link I posted, yes it is possible.
751470 tn?1268502109
from the page you linked to:
'The period between transmission of the hepatitis B virus and the beginning of symptoms of hepatitis B -- which is known as the "hepatitis B incubation period"'

One does not have to wait until the beginning of symptoms to test positive for HepB.
Again from the same page:
'A person who is infected with hepatitis B begins to be contagious early in the incubation period.'
They would certainly test positive for HepB at such a time if they have contracted it.
948882 tn?1270557407
We both posted responses almost at the same time (which are somewhat contradictory to one another). I don't mean to contradict your point.

We get these "window period" questions a lot. I could not find a conclusive/sure answer that we can provide.

The question txbuck and others usually are asking is, once a person suspect contact with this virus, after how many days/weeks they should get tested, so that one could be  rest assured that the results are conclusive (and can be sure of).

Is it one day after suspected contact ? 1 week ? 4 weeks ? 8 weeks ? 6 months ? 1 year ?

This webpage states : "This incubation period is dependent of the number of virus particles a person is exposed to. Infection with very few particles results in a longer incubation period."

Usually people ask this question to get the anxiety under control and feel reassured. I am not sure there is a certain answer.

Neverthless if a person suspects he/she came in contact with the virus, there is no turning back. Either one's body will fight it off or become chronics. The question of window period is irrelevant if we look at big picture.

But, then again we are just humans - especially in those first few weeks or months.

We see people asking the "window" question again and again as they are looking to end the uncertainity.  Is there one answer we can give ?

Any thoughts ? bbrerry/Steve/zellf et el - please comment.
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