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Help withTest Results
Jun 13, 2004

Hello Dr. McGovern,

After 8+ weeks after possible exposure (protectd sex). I had a Heb B. Surf Antgn = Negative and a Heb B Surface antibody test= A-HBS is less than 3.0 MIU/ML. My doctor said I don't have Heb B and that I am fine (I also tested negative For Heb C and HIV (ELISA and PCRDNA)).

According to the note on the bottom of the lab report it states that "Please note changes in Reference Range was implementation of DPC Immulite methodology. < 9.0 Inconsistent with Immunity: 9.0 -10.9 Indeterminate with regard to Immunity > 10.9 Consistent withImmunity.

Here are my qustions:

1) This was a one time instance. Testing after eight weeks should I be fine? I had a condom on and it did not break. I saw a posting from Dr.Dieterich and he stated that usual incubation period is 4 to 6 weeks (The Heb B foundation is also stating this number).

2) What does this mean? "a Heb B Surface antibody test= A-HBS is less than 3.0 MIU/ML". My doctor did not give me a clear answer, just that it's barely traceable. Nothing to be concern with.

I would appreciate any help you can give with this.

Thank you! T

Response from Dr. McGovern

The main issue is that your surface antigen is negative. That is extremely good news and in light of your protected exposure, I would not be concerned about this any more. Although the incubation for hepatitis B has a wide range (some sources even quoting 3-6 months) most cases occur earlier on and I suspect you are at very,very low risk for infection.

Surface antibody is positive in two circumstances: 1) after vaccination and 2) after prior infection which has then resolved. Perhaps you received vaccination in the past or you were infected in the past but resolved your infection. The way to answer the second question is to ask your physician if he or she can check your hepatitis B core antibody to see if it is positive. Sometimes after natural infection, surface antibody can wane over time but the core antibody remains positive for life.

Dr. McGovern



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