Most people with hepatitis B or C in Hawai`i don’t know they have it. Symptoms can take many years to show, so it is important to get tested even if you feel fine.
There are two easy ways to find out if you should be tested:
Who should get tested for hepatitis B?
Affected countries include China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the Federated States of Micronesia, among most other countries in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Even if you have been vaccinated, if you are listed below you should get tested to make sure you didn’t get hepatitis B BEFORE you got vaccinated:
- Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, especially those born in countries with hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevalence of 2% or more, or whose parents were born in regions with HBV prevalence greater than 8% (see map)
- Household contacts and sex partners of people with hepatitis B
- Pregnant women
- Men who have sex with men
- Injection drug users
- People living with HIV
This is a partial list. For a complete list of recommendations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Who should get tested for hepatitis C?
- Ever injected drugs or other substances even once
- Transfusions/organ transplants before 1992
- Healthcare or public safety workers after exposure to blood with hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Children born to HCV-positive women
- Anyone born in the U.S. from 1945 to 1965, regardless of any known risks - Testing Referral Form for Baby Boomers
- Persons who have ever been incarcerated – Hep C in Prison or Jail booklet
- History of tattooing or body piercing
- History of multiple sex partners or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Long-term steady sex partners of HCV-positive persons
- Users of intranasal cocaine or other non-injection drugs such as ice
Where can I get tested?
To get tested, ask your doctor for the inexpensive blood tests for hepatitis B and/or C. Since some providers may not be aware of viral hepatitis, print out these easy forms on hepatitis B and hepatitis C testing to take to your doctor. You can also go to our list of free testing sites, most of which offer the rapid test for people who are uninsured and at risk.
DID YOU KNOW? There is now a rapid hepatitis C antibody test available that only takes 20 minutes! For more information on the test itself, go to www.testhepc.com.