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See a doctor who tests for hepatitis B.
Download this patient ask form and take it to your doctor today!
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** See a doctor who tests for hepatitis B. **
Download this form and take it with you to your next doctor's appointment. . (If you don't have a doctor, free and low-cost screening is available for residents of San Francisco.)
Ask your doctor for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and surface antibody (anti-HBs) tests for both yourself and your family. These are not included in routine physical examination blood tests and must be requested. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor for the HBsAg test to see whether you are infected with hepatitis B.
If both your blood tests (HBsAg and anti-HBs) are negative, you have not been infected with hepatitis B. Get the 3-shot hepatitis B vaccination series to protect yourself for life from future infection. All newborns should receive the hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
Not all people chronically infected with hepatitis B need treatment. However, if your blood levels of ALT are elevated ongoing liver damage may be occurring. Treatment with either lamivudine, adefovir or entecavir (a pill taken once a day) or a course of interferon shots may be appropriate in this situation. These are the only four FDA-approved pills for chronic hepatitis B. Appropriate management can reduce the risk of further liver damage and liver cancer.
People chronically infected with hepatitis B can enjoy completely normal lives, but need to take some necessary precautions to avoid further liver damage.