Test. Treat. Cure.

Hepatitis A, B and C can all be diagnosed using blood tests. If you’re concerned that you may have viral hepatitis, it is important to visit a medical professional and ask about getting tested.

Where to go for testing
  • Your GP or local health professional
  • Aboriginal Medical Services
  • Some Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) services
  • Find a health professional with our HEPnav treatment directory

Hepatitis A Testing
Hepatitis A is an acute (short-term) illness that causes inflammation (swelling) of the liver. A blood test can confirm hepatitis A is present but is not required for diagnosis.

Hepatitis B Testing

Hepatitis C Testing

Treatment for viral hepatitis varies depending on whether you have hepatitis A, B or C.

HEPATITIS A

There is no treatment for hepatitis A. Resting, drinking lots of fluids, and eating when you can will help you feel better. Only take medications that are essential and do not drink any alcohol. In most cases your immune system will activate and you will develop antibodies that fight off the virus, curing it from your body. These antibodies will give you a lifelong immunity.

If you have hepatitis A you are infectious and can spread the illness to others. The infectious period lasts from about two weeks before the symptoms appear to a week or so after they go away. Vaccination of people in close contact with you may prevent the illness if given within two weeks of transmission. Read more about preventing hepatitis.

Hepatitis B

Check ups and treatment

Regular six-monthly check ups are essential for people living with chronic hepatitis B. These regular check ups allow you and your doctor to keep an eye on your liver health and help determine if treatment (medication) is right for you.

Why are check ups important?

Most people with chronic hep B don’t feel sick but, damage to your liver can happen while you are feeling healthy and well. Hepatitis B can progress into cirrhosis (scarring), liver cancer, and liver failure. It is important to regularly check what is happening in your liver and well it is working. The earlier the changes are detected, the more options you will have in treatment.

What happens at a Hepatitis B Check up?

At your check up, your doctor will test for changes in your liver and for any damage. This can include blood tests and scans to look at the liver. These tests will help determine the phase of chronic hepatitis B infection and whether treatment is needed.

What are the phases of chronic hepatitis B?

There are four phases of hepatitis B. These phases change as your liver function changes as the virus increases or decreases.

Chronic Hepatitis B Phases  
Silent– also known as Immune Tolerant This looks for seven different enzymes which show up in your blood when your liver is being damaged.
Damage – also known as Immune Clearance Your immune system is attacking the virus and trying to get rid of it. Your liver is being damaged in this phase.
Control – also known as Immune Control Your immune system has got the virus under control and no further damage is being done to your liver.
Escape – also known as Immune Escape The virus is progressing and your liver is being damaged again, particularly if there was damage done in previous phases.

For more information read our Phases of chronic hep B factsheet

Is treatment available for hep B?

Not everyone will need treatment (medication) for hepatitis B. Whether or not you need treatment depends on your unique situation and what phase of chronic hep B your liver is in.

There are treatments available for hepatitis B. Your doctor or specialist will guide you through the options available to you based on the results of your regular tests and check ups.

It is very important to take your medications as your doctor or specialist has prescribed, even when you begin to feel healthy again. If you don’t take all of your tablets, the treatment will not work properly.

Do not stop and start your medication or share it with anyone else who has hep B. This can cause serious liver damage for both people and can cause the medication to not work properly.

How much does treatment cost?

Hep B medicines are listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). If you hold a concession card your co-payment will be $6.40 and for full paying individuals you will pay $39.50 as of January 2018.

Where I can go for check ups and treatment?

Visit our HEPnav directory to find hep B doctors and liver clinics near you for monitoring and treatment.

Hepatitis C
The good news is hep C can be cured! Visit our Getting Cured section for more information on hepatitis C cure.

Hepatitis C can be cured.

HEPATITIS A
There is no cure for hepatitis A. Refer to Hepatitis A treatment section for information on treatment.

HEPATITIS B
There is no cure for hepatitis B, however it can be treated. Find out more about hepatitis B treatment.

HEPATITIS C

Find out more