I was recently diagnosed and tested for Hepatitis B

Hi Good to be here …

Maybe it’s a mistake or not I don’t know
I would like some good insight

I was diagnosed and tested a month ago for HbsAg positive…
I don’t trust heath practional here much since there aren’t a specialist on the case (Nigeria) probably a wide range good hospital :hospital: would have or not…

I had my HBV profile done

I haven’t done my LFT yet to be done :white_check_mark: and ws told to be on medication right away because I feel sick and to bet tested again after 6 month for HbsAg antibodies to know if I will stay acute or rid of the infection…

I wanted to know by people who are aware of how things work if it’s ok to already start the medication? Although my symptoms have suppress after the medication and I was sure what I am feeling is probably a side effects ofh lamivudine Although I was told I could hold on on the medication as my body could ride of it ,I wanted to know if it’s safe be using the medication already when my viral load is inactive although positive?

And can I change my drugs from lamivudine to tenofovir as I researched and seen drugs is way better than lamivudine and have been getting serious side effects from lamivudine despite that I can be resistantly grown on it in the future… can I change it to tenofovir before it’s too late ,I haven’t even had it for the first 60days and am already battling with hives/rashes and edema plz I need a suggestion and advice plz ???

And I would be happy if anyone’s could recommend as specialist to be talking to over this?

I wanted to know if i should do acute or chronic test,or keep using the drugs and if I can change it ?.@$ I said ,seen a doctor is hard not to even talk hepatologies

Welcome @adeleke_afeez
Thanks for sharing your story.
I’m not a healthcare expert so can only answer 1 question. You can switch medication but I’m not sure if you should be on any medication, if you aren’t clear on whether you are acute or chronic.
I understand your position of not have professional healthcare workers which must be very frustrating. We have the doctors but they don’t answer our questions :face_with_diagonal_mouth:
That’s why this forum is helpful.
Read around. I know we have a list of specialists in Nigeria….somewhere on this forum.
Someone more experienced and helpful will answer your questions and point you in the right direction soon.
Sorry I wasn’t very helpful. @ThomasTu @Bansah1


Thanks :pray: so much for this

Do you think I should get a test done to know wether it’s acute or chronic?
I only started the medication because I feel so sick :nauseated_face: and been reliving of the symptoms…what worried is while I feel sick while my viral load is inactive and low undetectable…

I wish I have someone that could answer my question here and thank for your response. But definitely I had to switch the medication because I think my body is reacting much to lamivudine as I get many side effects after my unhealthy subdue…

I will be waiting for response here and av been try to get in contact with a specialist around here to talk to…
Thanks to everyone who will be contributing to this

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Hi @adeleke_afeez,
Welcome to the community and sorry to hear about your experience. I have a few questions that may help here. You mentioned that your viral load is inactive and low undetectable, when did you do that test? Secondly, were you sick when you visited the hospital and what were your symptoms? I ask the second question because an acute infections have some tell-tale symptoms that patients experience. This includes vomiting, nausea, jaundice (yellowing of skin, eyes, fingers etc), loss of appetite, joint and muscle pain, low-grade fever, stomach pain among others. What did you experience?

From the test results you shared, it shows you do have hepatitis B infection (HBsAg-positive) with low or no replication going on in your blood.(HBeAb-Positive) This is good because you are less infectious and less likely to infect others. You do not have immunity or protection (HBsAb -negative). HBcAb positive indicates a past or current infection. You can get this test done and if it is positive that will indicate an acute infection (anti-HBc IgM). You can add this test as well if you want to know whether you have a chronic infection or not (anti-HBc IgG) a positive test will indicate a chronic infection. HBeAg and HBeAb go hand in hand, if HBeAg is positive it indicates high replication of HBV in your blood making one more infectious and more likely to infect others. But yours is negative.

Regarding your medicine (Lamivudine) it is not used here in the US as a first line treatment. If you are having some reactions from it, talk to the doctor that prescribed it about the effects you are experiencing and maybe asking for a switch. I do not know how accessible tenofovir is in Nigeria, but you can definitely get your provider to switch after having a discussion regarding the side effects you are experiencing. I hope this helps. Bansah1

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Thanks for your response and I appreciate it …

Yes I don’t know if I can find tenofovir easily here and I would ask how Accessible it’s before switching or hoping the side effects subdue after the first 2 month before I start another…

Yes I was sick with typhoid after a widal test then after I treated my typhoid I still experience fever,body pain , tiredness from stomach, abdominal pain and I did my ultrasound and was only found with traces of puid which I take ulcer drug’s for ,after few weeks I had both HIV and hepatitis B tested with my blood and it came back neg for HIV and positive for Hepatitis B

What I wanted to know is with my test results,is it good to be on medication? For a year as prescribed for me ?
I don’t have a knowledge Doctor to talk to yet about it and all I was given was the drugs and to used it for a year and before a year ,after 6 month of taken the drugs, that I should do another HbsAg test to know if the test is still positive then it mean am chronic after 6 month negative,it means I am free of it and could complete the drugs for a year and monitor my progress… I have been try to get in contact with doctor who might be knowledgeable about it …

Thanks for your time

Hi @adeleke_afeez
welcome to the community and I understand your confusion and anxiety especially when one doesn’t know about the disease, I’m not a healthcare expert and I’m sure an expert will respond you soon, they are very good at that on this forum.
I was diagnosed with acute HepB in June 2023 and I haven’t been able to get rid of the virus in the first 6 months ,and because I had very strong symptoms like muscle and joint pain, and my blood test showed a very high viral load ( HBVDNA) I have been On Tenofovir (TDF) since October and im feeling much better especially since my viral load has gone down significantly.
I’m surprised and sorry you are not feeling well since your viral load is undetectable ( it means you have very little virus in your system and not as infectious) and not sure you should feel sick if the virus is undetected. you should also have your primary doctor investigate other causes unrelated to HBV.
sorry I can’t help you medically but just wanted to give you some support.
good luck

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Did you started using your medication because of your symptoms and coz of your high viral load??

I try getting another test to know the cause of my symptoms,the only thing there is my Typhoid high as 320 x4
After several treatments and getting better, I still feel sick :nauseated_face:
I had a HIV and HBV test done to be sure because of me being weak and tiredness plus abdominal pain and malaise that’s my symptoms… someone I know, a distance friend was diagnosed Bec he has high blood pressure…

Since I was positive,then I was told it’s possible to experience symptoms even with my viral load undetected as in some cases…
Then I was told to start the medication and to maintain it for a year !

Now it’s unclear, I am to do another test in 6 month after the first one to know wether it’s acute or chronic…
During this period,is it ok to be on medication even with my viral load low but symptomatic ? Plz answer if you know???

I believe the symptoms from then has been subdue although not fully and am still experiencing side effects from the lamivudine am taking,am considering changing it because I am having side effects !

I am still wondering what blood work to get done to identify my cuause of symptoms but since my symptoms been subdue,may it really is the one showing?

Hi My symptoms have subdued over few months and definitely better since I started the medications, although Im still dealing with fluctation in my AST and ALT .
the reason I started was mostly for High viral load and my doctor got me started in order not to further damage my liver ( apparently it happens if you have high viral loads ). again Im pretty new at this myself and I’m not a healthcare expert. I’m sure some expert like @availlant or @ThomasTu will get back to you .

Hi @adeleke_afeez,
It is hard to say, because you had symptoms that were common with acute hepatitis B but what confound this whole thing is that you were dealing with typhoid at the same time. My guess is you have never been tested for hepatitis B before recently.

Sometimes, if providers suspect an acute infection and the patient has severe symptoms they at times put them on treatment to protect their liver and also lessen the symptoms. My guess is this might have been the case for you and that is why the doctor decided to put you on lamivudine. The test I suggested will tell whether your infection is chronic or acute. anti-HBc IgM and anti-HBc IgG. Overall, you have the virus, no immunity and you have low replication going on, undetectable viral load makes me believe this could be a chronic infection. We can surely answer this with the tese above.
Lets hope you can get in touch with the provider soon. Thanks, Bansah1.

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Which provider are you talking about?

That means i could safely continue taking my drugs??

And I suspect that, I see it while researching that 150mg of lamivudine Is much for hapatitis b instead 100 is better ?. Coz I am taking 150 and am dying of side effects already??

Is there anyone who have taken lamivudine here before,I am even experiencing a testicular pain

The “provider” refers to the doctor you saw that put you on the medication. I was suggesting that you let this doctor know about the side effects you are experiencing. Then you both can consider whether switching is helpful and possible. Like I mentioned, Lamivudine is not used as first line treatment option(s) in the US and other western countries. Thanks, Bansah1

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The test you talk about?.
Is it one or two coz you write two?
Are they going to give me one file for the test I ask for ?
Ok I will see the provider

Is it safe to start medication when I am feeling sick even if I don’t know wether it’s acute or not ? And before I do another 6 month interval test to indicate acute?

Should I just do the test(acute or chronic own) or wait for 6 month to do run another test and if positive Chronic and if negative good ,can I keep using the drugs in the interval?

It is two separate test. Talk to the doctor as he or she may be able to answer some of these questions. We are only going by the lab results you shared with us.

Ohh k the test is test for positive and negative?

No, they are to test whether you have an acute or chronic infection. The one ending in IgM if positive will mean you have an acute infection and the other ending in IgG if positive will indicate a chronic infection…

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Do you perhaps have a doctor or someone knowledgeable I can talk to here

Hi @adeleke_afeez,

Thanks for sharing your story and welcome to the community. Your results indicate a HBeAg-negative chronic infection.

As mentioned by others, you can change antivirals at any time and lamivudine isn’t generally recommended as a first-line therapy. These are generally safe drugs, and it can be dangerous to just stop them completely. It is important to get in touch with your doctor before changing or stopping your medications.

A physician directory for doctors with experience in hepatitis B management can be found here: Physician Directory (U.S. & International) » Hepatitis B Foundation. Otherwise you can get into contact with some Nigerian hepatitis advocacy bodies to see if they have a list for local doctors: Member listings - World Hepatitis Alliance. @Prince_Okinedo runs a whatsapp group for Nigerians too, they may be able to help: Hepatitis B in Nigeria: discussion thread

Regarding chronic vs. acute, the best way to determine this is seeing if you are still HBsAg positive 6-months after your initial diagnosis. If you are, then it is a chronic infection. So you have been informed correctly in this case.

It is also worthwhile to get your liver function test done and ultrasound to see if it indeed something going on with the Hep B that is causing your issues, or if it is something unrelated.

Hope this helps,


Thanks you so much for sharing your knowledge with me
I will do a rerun after 6 month to know fully if it’s chronic or not but within the period,can I keep using my drug? Base on your idea, you said not having any antibodies may mean it’s chronic? even if it’s acute,Is it safe to use the drugs? So continue the drugs Is a batter option?
And Is 100 or 150mg of lamivudine better?
If I want to change to tenofovir, which mg can I go for?
Around the time I did the test,I had an an ultrasound and it indicates nothing spoil although I do it because I had an abdominal pain and I have it no more now after starting the antiviral I will have it done again but am hopping to go it around the
If I wanted to go 4 another test after 6 month,will I go for HbsAg or the full profiles?,can I do my lft at the 6 month too altogether with my second test?