Hepatitis A virus (HAV) test is a blood test that looks for proteins (antibodies) made by the body in response to the virus that causes hepatitis A. These proteins will be present in your blood if you have a hepatitis A infection now or have had one in the past. It is important to identify the type of hepatitis virus causing the infection to prevent it from spreading and to start the proper treatment.
HAV infection is spread through food or water that has been contaminated by the feces (stool) of an infected person.
Hepatitis A vaccine is available to prevent an HAV infection. If you have had this vaccine and you have anti-HAV antibodies, this means the vaccination was effective.
Hepatitis virus testing is done to:
You do not need to do anything before you have this test.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form (What is a PDF document?).
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
The blood sample is taken from a vein in your arm. An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm. It may feel tight. You may feel nothing at all from the needle, or you may feel a quick sting or pinch.
There is very little chance of a problem from having blood sample taken from a vein.
Negative results of hepatitis virus testing mean that no antibodies against the hepatitis virus were found. Positive results mean that hepatitis A antibodies were found. Results are usually available in 5 to 7 days.
No hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibodies are found.
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibodies are found. You may need more tests to find out if you have a present, active infection or a past, resolved infection.
Many conditions can change anti-HAV antibodies levels. Your doctor will talk with you about any abnormal results that may be related to your symptoms and medical history.
Your results may need to be rechecked if you are taking some herbs or other natural products.
Other Works Consulted
- Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology|
|Last Revised||August 30, 2012|
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