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Screening for Viral Hepatitis

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Screening for Viral Hepatitis

Screening is done to find a problem and treat it early. Tests are given to people who do not have symptoms but who may be at high risk.

Screening Guidelines

Pregnant women should be screened for hepatitis at their first prenatal visit. People at high risk may also be screened. This may include those who:

  • Work in certain jobs such as healthcare or public safety
  • Live in or visit places where hepatitis is common
  • Have certain sexual practices, such as:
    • Multiple sex partners
    • Men who have sex with men
  • Use IV drugs or share needles
  • Are (or were) in prison
  • Have certain diseases such as HIV, or liver or kidney disease
  • Are blood, organ, or tissue donors
  • Were born to mothers who had hepatitis

A screening test for hepatitis B and C is advised for all people 18 years old and older. This should be done at least once in their lifetime.


  • Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-hepatitis-b-virus-hbv-infection.
  • Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-hepatitis-c-infection.
  • Overview of chronic hepatitis. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hepatic-and-biliary-disorders/hepatitis/overview-of-chronic-hepatitis.
  • 07/13/2023 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-hepatitis-b-virus-hbv-infection: Conners EE, Panagiotakopoulos L, et al. Screening and testing for hepatitis B virus infection: CDC recommendations - United States, 2023. MMWR Recomm Rep. 2023 Mar 10;72(1):1-25.


  • David L. Horn, MD, FACP
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.