Information for Healthcare Professionals

Key messages

  • Consider screening patients from countries with a higher prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus ( HCV) than the UK, particularly those where the prevalence of HBV and HCV is considerably higher or if other risk factors apply
  • Screening of contacts of HBV and HCV infected patients should also be considered
  • Individuals identified as positive should be referred for specialist assessment

Anyone at risk of hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection should be offered a hepatitis test, this includes:

  • Children born to mothers with HBV who are HBsAG positive and/or with HCV who are HCV RNA positive
  • Partners and individuals living in close contact with someone who is infected with HBV and/or HCV
  • Recipients of unscreened blood transfusion or blood products
  • People from countries where hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C is endemic
  • Anyone who has injected drugs, even if it was only once
  • People who may have had unsterile medical or dental procedures abroad
  • People involved in high risk sexual practices especially with a person who is HBV and/or HCV positive
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who may have had ear piercing, body piercing, tattooing or acupuncture with unsterile equipment
  • Consider for any patient with abnormal liver function tests (LFT), especially elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT)

Other useful information

SH:24 - Free Home STI STD Testing kit – test for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and HIV.

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Contact number for Hepatitis Network

028 961 55725 or 028 961 55569