HIV - Hepatitis B - Hepatitis C Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP

Chief Medical Officer meet our doctors

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What is

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus which weakens and destroys the body's ability to fight infection and illness. HIV is the main cause of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). HIV is in the bodily fluids of an infected person - including semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood, and breast milk. HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine, or saliva. The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through having unprotected sex with an infected partner, but the virus can also be caught by sharing needles during drug use. Some people experience flu-like symptoms for around two-six weeks after an HIV infection. After the symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause further symptoms for many years, but the virus continues to damage the immune system. Many people do not know that they are infected.

What are
hepatitis B and C?

Hepatitis B and C are liver infections caused by a virus that is spread through blood and bodily fluids. Hepatitis B can be passed from person to person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and also by infected needles or syringes. Hepatitis C, the most common type of viral hepatitis in England, is usually transmitted through blood-to-blood contact. Although many people experience no symptoms, hepatitis B and C may cause flu-like symptoms, fatigue, jaundice, and fever.

What can I learn
from this test?

Our confidential blood test looks for specific HIV antibodies that are produced shortly after infection. A p24 antigen test is also carried out to increase the chances of detecting an infection sooner after exposure. You can also check for hepatitis B and C infections with this test.

What's Included?

Select profile for more information

HIV - 1 and HIV - 2 antibodies and P24 antigen

HIV antibodies are made by the immune system in response to infection with either Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 or 2. P24 antigen is a protein from the core of the HIV virus, it is found during the initial infection with HIV and disappears following seroconversion. This test will look for the presence of HIV antibodies and p24 antigen in the blood and will report whether they are detected or not.

Hepatitis C antibodies Hepatitis C is a virus that can infect and damage the liver. It is mainly transmitted through sharing needles while injecting drugs, through unprotected sex with an infected person and can also be passed from mother to baby. Many who are infected with the virus are unaware as there are often no noticeable symptoms. However, a chronic hepatitis C infection can cause cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) which can lead to chronic liver disease. Hepatitis C antibodies are produced by the body in response to exposure to the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Testing for these antibodies in the blood helps to identify a hepatitis C infection.
Hepatitis B surface antigen The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is a protein on the surface of the hepatitis B virus, present in the blood during a hepatitis B virus infection. Checking for this surface antigen helps to identify acute and chronic HBV infections. Positive surface antigen meaning the virus is present and that the individual is infectious.

How to prepare
for your test?

Special Instructions

Prepare for your HIV - Hepatitis B - Hepatitis C Blood Test by following these instructions. If there is a chance that you have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or C then please let us know how long before taking your sample this occurred. Your sample should be taken 4 weeks after any hepatitis B exposure. Take your test at least 4 weeks after any possible HIV exposure, a repeat test is recommended at 12 weeks. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.