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Recovery from an acute hepatitis B infection is confirmed when blood tests show that a person has lost the virus (HBsAg-negative) and has developed the protective surface antibody (HBsAb-positive).

A person who has positive surface antibodies (HBsAb or anti-HBs) has recovered and is no longer contagious to others. Once a person has recovered, which can take up to six months, they cannot pass the virus on to others.

Although a person who has recovered is protected against future hepatitis B infections, they are still at risk for other types of hepatitis viruses (i.e. hepatitis A and C). Therefore, they should get the hepatitis A vaccine and avoid risk factors for hepatitis C.


Page last reviewed March 2014

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