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Hepatitis A Virus Tests: About These Tests

Location of the liver in the body

What is it?

Hepatitis A virus tests are blood tests that check for a substance (antibodies) in your blood. They show if you have hepatitis A now or had it in the past. The tests also can show if you are protected from getting the disease.

Why is the test done?

You may need these tests if:

  • You have symptoms of hepatitis.
  • You may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus. You have a greater chance of being exposed to the virus if you have been to a country where the disease is common, you work in a daycare centre, or you live with someone who has the disease.
  • You've had other tests that show you have liver problems.
  • You or your doctor wants to know if you are protected from getting the disease.

How do you prepare for the test?

In general, there's nothing you have to do before this test, unless your doctor tells you to.

How is the test done?

A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from the arm.

What happens after these tests?

  • You will probably be able to go home right away.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider or an infectious disease specialist if your test is positive.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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