Hepatitis B Viral DNA

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Hepatitis B Viral DNA

Topic Overview

The hepatitis B virus contains DNA. If DNA from the hepatitis B virus is found in your blood sample, then your doctor knows that the virus is multiplying.

  • You are contagious when HBV DNA is present. The higher the level of HBV DNA, the more contagious you are.
  • If you have a long-term (chronic) HBV infection, the presence of high levels of viral DNA means that you are at increased risk for liver damage and may want to consider treatment with medicines.
  • Testing for the amount of HBV DNA (viral load) is an important way to monitor the effectiveness of treatment for chronic HBV infection.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Primary Medical Reviewer Donald Sproule, MD, CM, CCFP, FCFP - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven L. Flamm, MD, MD - Gastroenterology
Last Revised February 2, 2011

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