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Hepatitis B Sur Ag: Negative: Hepatitis B Sur Ab: Positive
Jul 13, 2004

Dear Dr McGovern I had a Hepatitis B lab this June, here is my result: Test Result Range HB SUR Ag NEG NEG (Eval: Positive HBsAG indicates acute or chronic hepatitis B) HB SUR Ab POS NEG (Eval: Postive ABSAB denotes immunity by vaccination or recovery). Can you explain the results in more simple way so that regular people can understand their health status? And do I need to start medication? Please advise, thank you very much for your time and knowledge sharing.

Response from Dr. McGovern

You have received "good news" from your laboratories. In general, you can think of laboratories related to any virus in this simplistic way: the presence of antigens usually refers to the presence of virus itself. The presence of antibodies suggests the body has responded to a virus with a protective factor.

You do not have any evidence of active hepatitis B infection (ie, your Hepatitis B surface antigen is negative). You DO have evidence of a protective factor in your body (ie, your surface antibody is positive).

One more test would be helpful to fully determine what your overall status is and that is hepatitis B core antibody. If your core antibody is positive, then you had hepatitis B infection in the past and fully recovered from it. No other treatment or follow-up is necessary. If your core antibody is negative, then you must have received vaccination for hepatitis B in the past.

Dr. McGovern

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