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To determine if you have an acute or chronic infection, you must be tested for hepatitis B over a six-month period.

The specific test that indicates if you are infected is the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) test.

Here is an explanation of these two terms and what happens when you’re first infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and body fluids.

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If you’ve just been diagnosed with hepatitis B after a routine blood test or following a blood donation, you may be feeling overwhelmed with information about this complicated infection and references to hepatitis B.

Please be patient and do not panic, but remember you do need to take precautions during this time to make sure you don’t spread the infection to others.

Practice safe sex (use a condom), and don’t share personal items that may have trace amounts of blood on them.It can take up to six months for our immune systems to generate antibodies and eradicate the infection in our liver.This short-term infection is called acute hepatitis B.Most people with chronic hepatitis B were infected at birth or during early childhood.Immunization with the hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG), if available, within 12 to 24 hours of birth can break this mother-to-child infection cycle, but the birth vaccine dose and often HBIG is not always available around the world. When we’re infected with HBV as healthy adults, about 90 percent of us are able to get rid of the infection within six months.This antigen covers the surface of the virus and usually there are lots of HBs Ag in your blood when you’re infected.