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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
           
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Hep B Testing
Dec 7, 2008

Dear Doctor,

How would you know if you've been vaccinated against hep B or if your body has cleared the virus on its own (assuming you don't remember)?

Does the lab report indicate how immunity has occured? If so, how could you tell?

Also, if your body has cleared the infection you're not contagious, right? Then why shouldn't you be allowed to donate blood?

Thanks for the response

Response from Dr. McGovern

Great questions. 1. You can certainly tell if you have been vaccinated by certain blood tests.

HB surface antigen non-reactive; HBcore antibody reactive and HBsurface antibody reactive means past infection that has cleared. These patients do not have virus in their blood and are not infectious. They also can't get the infection again.

HB core antibody nonreactive and HB surface antibody reactive means past immunization.

Blood banks as a general rule don't take blood from anyone with a past history of a blood-borne disease.



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