General Health

This Test Can Help You Know If You Have Hepatitis B!

By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 24 January 2023

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Did you know, the symptoms of hepatitis B infection can sometimes take 3 months to appear after exposure to the virus? This can result in a delay in confirming the diagnosis and initiating the treatment regimen. However, there is a test called the Australia antigen test (HBsAg test), which can help detect the presence of the hepatitis B virus in your body. 

HBV or hepatitis B virus causes a viral infection that attacks your liver and results in serious health conditions like cirrhosis, liver damage, and liver cancer. The Australia antigen test helps in diagnosing an HBV infection, determining your risk for developing any complications from this infection, and monitoring the effectiveness of your treatment plan. Read on to learn more about the Australia antigen test.

What Does The Australia Antigen Test Find Out?

The Australia antigen test is used to determine whether or not you have a recent or long-standing HBV infection. It is also used to identify the inactive carriers of this virus. It works by detecting the presence of the surface antigen of the hepatitis B virus in your blood. If the result of the test is positive, then you could be suffering from an HBV infection.

Once you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, the Australia antigen (HBsAg) can be detected in the serum before the clinical symptoms of hepatitis start to appear or the liver function tests show any abnormalities. HBsAg is detectable in your blood in case of both chronic and acute infections.

Who Should Get This Test Done And Why?

Your doctor will advise you to get the Australia antigen test done if he/she suspects that you're suffering from a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It's highly recommended to get this test done if you experience the symptoms of an HBV infection, which include:

  • Extreme tiredness or lethargy
  • Nausea
  • Muscle ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowed eyes and skin)
  • Fever
  • Belly pain
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Swelling of limbs
  • Confusion

It’s also wise to get the Australia antigen test performed if you are at an increased risk of getting exposed to the hepatitis virus. The risk factors for this infection include:

  • Living in close contact with an infected individual
  • Having sex with an infected individual
  • Sharing needles for intravenous drug use
  • Having been born to an infected mother
  • Getting an organ transplant or blood transfusion
  • Working in a place where there is high exposure to blood, like a healthcare centre

You should also get this test done regularly if you’ve ever been diagnosed with an HBV infection. 

Click To Book The Test

The Australia antigen test can prove to be a valuable tool to diagnose, prevent, and treat hepatitis B virus infection. People need to take the necessary steps for protecting themselves against HBV and to consult a doctor immediately if they experience any of the symptoms mentioned above. 

Consult An Apollo Expert


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.


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