Why test for hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is common in our communities. Chronic (long-term) hepatitis B can lead to liver damage and liver cancer.
Most people living with chronic hepatitis B don’t know they have it, because it can take several years for the symptoms to appear.
The only way to know if you have chronic hepatitis B is by getting a hepatitis B blood test. It is quick and easy.

The tests results will tell you if you:
•    Have chronic hepatitis B infection, and need care and treatment
•    Have developed protection against hepatitis B, and cannot get it again
•    Don’t have protection against hepatitis B, and need a hepatitis B vaccination.

Ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test if you:
•    Were born or have lived in a country where hepatitis B is common.
•    Have a family member living with hepatitis B, liver disease or liver cancer.
•    Live with someone who has chronic hepatitis B.
•    Have had unprotected sex (sex without a condom).
•    Have had a medical or dental procedure overseas, in countries where equipment is not sterilised (cleaned) properly.
•    Have taken part in cultural practices that involve blood, such as tattooing, piercing or acupuncture.
•    Have had a blood transfusion overseas, or before 1990 in Australia.

Where to get a hepatitis B test?

General practitioner (GP)
Ask your doctor for a hepatitis B test. Testing is free if you have a Medicare card.
Not all blood tests will show if you have hepatitis B. Your doctor needs to do specific blood tests to find out if you have hepatitis B.

Liver clinics and specialists
Use the Hepatitis NSW local service directory to find hepatitis B testing doctors, liver clinics and specialists near you.

Sexual Health Clinics
Testing for hepatitis B at NSW Sexual Health Clinics is free, easy and confidential for selected patients. At some clinics you don’t need a Medicare Card and don’t need to give your real name if you don’t want to.

For more information about which sexual health clinic is the best for you and where to go, call the Sexual Health Infolink on 1800 451 624.

Want to know more?

Click here for more information about hepatitis B in your language.

You can also call the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 803 990 to get more information about hepatitis B. If you prefer to speak in your own language, you can call the Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50 (free call).