Our labs perform an FDA-cleared hepatitis A antibody blood test to diagnose hepatitis A (HAV) in the blood.
This hepatitis A test evaluates your blood for IgM antibodies, which are proteins produced by the body in response to a viral infection. If these antibodies are found, it can then be determined you have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.
All laboratory testing accuracy rates are measured in terms of sensitivity and specificity. Our FDA-cleared hepatitis A test has an extremely high sensitivity and specificity rates, both at 95 percent.
Our hepatitis A test requires a blood sample. In the case of hepatitis A, blood samples provide more accurate results than urine or other methods of testing. A lab technician will draw a small sample of your blood when you visit a testing center.
This test does not necessitate any preparation prior to visiting the testing center. Fasting is not required.
Hepatitis A is usually spread when someone ingests the virus from food or drinks that were contaminated with undetectable amounts of stool from an infected person. If you have recently traveled internationally to a developing country then you are also at a higher risk to contract hepatitis A. Hepatitis is also commonly transferred sexually.
If you have traveled to developing countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis A, have recently had anal sex or sex with someone who may be infected, or shared needles using illicit drugs, you are at a higher risk of getting hepatitis A and should be tested. It’s best to wait 2-7 weeks after exposure to get tested for hepatitis A.
Your hepatitis A test result will either come back as positive or negative. A positive result indicates an acute or recent HAV infection, and a negative result simply means there was no active hepatitis A infection found.
There is no cure for hepatitis A at this time. However, a safe and effective vaccine exists that will prevent you from getting hepatitis A. Since the 1990s the hepatitis A vaccine has been available and has drastically reduced the number of hepatitis A cases. Those who have not been previously vaccinated can do so within two weeks of exposure to the virus and have an 80-90% chance of not experiencing symptoms.
Anyone who has not had Hepatitis A before, or anyone who has not been vaccinated for Hepatitis A, is at risk of acquiring hepatitis A. It is commonly spread through food that was prepared with improper hygiene, sexual activity, and by sharing needles. Those who travel to developing countries, are men who have sex with men, or are in contact with people with hepatitis A are at an abnormally high risk of hepatitis A.
Now is the best time to test for hepatitis A. Know your sexual health status today.
It is considered best to wait until the end of the incubation period to test, meaning the time between being exposed to the virus and when symptoms begin to appear. In the case of hepatitis A, it is recommended you wait at least 14-35 days before taking this test for the greatest accuracy.
If you believe you may have hepatitis A and have not been tested for other STDs like chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, hepatitis B and C, and herpes, our doctors recommend taking the all-inclusive 10 Panel STD Test to make sure you are completely free of STDs. Many STDs do not begin to show symptoms until they have caused more severe damage. Additionally, having an STD makes you more susceptible to getting other STDs.
For any questions about when you should get tested, call our Care Advisors at 1-800-456-2323.
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on June 18, 2019
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Since there is no cure or special treatment for Hepatitis A, our doctors recommend rest and adequate nutrition to feel better. You should consult your local physician for close monitoring and advice. Also check with your physician before taking any prescription medication, supplements or over-the-counter medicines which can potentially damage your liver.We are here for you. Call us at 1-832-251-7248
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