Testing and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection

On September 19, 2008, CDC published updated and expanded guidelines for testing for chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and recommendations for public health evaluation and management for chronically infected persons and their contacts. Serologic testing for Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is the primary way to identify persons chronic HBV infection.

Testing for HBsAg now is recommended for:

  • persons born in geographic regions with HBsAg prevalence of 2%
  • US born persons not vaccinated as infants whose parents were born in geographic regions with HBsAg prevalence of ≥8%
  • injection-drug users
  • men who have sex with men
  • persons with elevated ALT/AST of unknown etiology
  • persons with selected medical conditions who require immunosuppressive therapy

Testing continues to be recommended for:

  • pregnant women
  • infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers
  • household contacts and sex partners of HBV-infected persons
  • persons who are the source of blood or body fluid exposures that might warrant postexposure prophylaxis (e.g., needlestick injury to a health care worker)
  • persons infected with HIV

Guidelines and Recommendations

Recommendations for Identification and Public Health Management of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infection, MMWR 2008;57(RR-8)

Recommendations for Routine Testing and Vaccination for Chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) Infection
Printable document pdf icon[PDF – 2 page]

Hepatitis B Vaccination, Screening, and Linkage to Care: Best Practice Advice From the American College of Physicians and CDCexternal icon

AASLD Practice Guidelinesexternal icon
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines 2015
CDC guidance on the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis B


Interpretation of Hepatitis B Serologic Test Results – Table pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]

Online Serology Training – Hepatitis A–E

Patient Education Tools

Title English Other Languages
Patient Education Tools
General Information
Hepatitis B – General Fact Sheet
PDFpdf icon Spanishpdf icon
Chronic Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B – Are You at Risk?
PDFpdf icon Chinesepdf icon
When Someone Close to You has Hepatitis B
PDFpdf icon Chinesepdf icon