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Screening for Viral Hepatitis

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

Screening Guidelines

Screening for hepatitis in pregnant women should be done at their first prenatal visit. It may also be done for people who are at high risk. This may include:

  • Workers in certain jobs such as healthcare or public safety
  • Living in or visiting places where hepatitis is common
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Men who have sex with men
  • IV drug use or needle sharing
  • Former prisoners
  • Having certain diseases such as HIV, or liver or kidney disease
  • Blood, organ, or tissue donors
  • Those born to mothers who had hepatitis

All people born between 1945 and 1965 should have a 1-time screening test for hepatitis C.


Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115624/Chronic-hepatitis-B-virus-HBV-infection. Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed April 17, 2019.

Chronic hepatitis C infection. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115157/Chronic-hepatitis-C-infection. Updated January 31, 2019. Accessed April 17, 2019.

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. Updated January 2019. Accessed April 17, 2019.

Last reviewed February 2019 by David L. Horn, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 4/17/2019