Getting Tested for Hepatitis
“If you have hepatitis, it is better to know.”
Hepatitis literally means inflammation of the liver. An inflamed liver can be caused by a number of different factors including alcohol. However, in his article Liver Specialist, Dr Andrew Millar provides the important information that people need to be aware of with regard to hepatitis caused by the viruses Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C i.e. ‘Viral Hepatitis’.
Consultant Hepatologist (liver expert) Dr Andrew Millar stresses that anyone at risk should get tested because, “it is better to know”, and there are good treatments. Sexual health clinics will do the test anonymously if confidentiality is a concern. It is always better to go to an official clinic as the testing will be considerably more reliable than anything done via an online testing solution.
When the presence of hepatitis B, or C infection is detected Dr Millar says that he sees his patients rapidly. It is important for any patient with a positive result to see a consultant who specialises in hepatitis and who can give the latest appropriate information plus reassurance that the condition will be properly assessed and managed.
So, who should be tested for Hepatitis B or C?
The following people should consider being tested for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C:
· Anyone born in an area with a high prevalence of chronic hepatitis (particularly Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, South America and southern and eastern Europe).
· Those who have had a tattoo unless sterile equipment could be guaranteed.
· Those who received any blood product before 1992 (testing did start before this in many ‘developed’ countries).
· Those who have ever received blood products in other countries.
· Sex workers and their customers.
· People who have had multiple sexual partners.
· Anyone who has ever had renal dialysis.
· Those with elevated liver function blood tests.
· Persons who have ever (even if only once) injected illegal drugs or shared equipment for nasal absorption.
· Anyone with a close member of the family positive for chronic hepatitis without a known cause.
· Current or previous residents of correctional institutions.