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Help understanding Hep B test results
Jan 19, 2013

I just recently donated blood and have received a letter from the blood bank. It states that I am negative for Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg), negative on the Hepatitis B-DNA (NAT), but reactive on the Hepatitits B Core Antibody (anti HBc). All of the other tests that were run were all negative. Does this mean that I have hepatitis B? This is the frst time that I have ever seen this.

Response from Dr. Taylor

The reactive Hepatitits B Core Antibody (anti HBc) means that you were exposed to hepatitis B.

The negative Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg) means that at the time you donated blood, you did not have an active hepatitis B infection. Most likely you were exposed but then your immune system cleared the hepatitis B on its own.

As an aside, I would recommend to people NOT using blood donation ever, as a way to find out whether you have hepatitis B or another infection that may be spread via the blood....I am not in any way suggesting that this is the case for you, but your question makes me want to share this point.



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