The Florida Hepatitis Prevention Program
The Florida Department of Health recommends hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines, as well as hepatitis B and C testing, for adults at increased risk for hepatitis infection, or the serious consequences of infection.
The vaccines and laboratory testing are available for Florida residents over 18 years and older, and may be offered at no charge in your area.
To get more information about hepatitis vaccine and testing availability, contact your local county health department.
Hepatitis Testing Information
“Hepatitis” is a word that means inflammation of the liver.
We can test your blood to see if you have a current or past infection caused by viral hepatitis. The three viruses we can test for are hepatitis A, B and C.
There currently is no cure for these viruses but there are vaccines for hepatitis A and B.
How is Viral Hepatitis spread?
- Hepatitis B and C are spread by contact with an infected person's blood or other body fluids that contain blood. Hepatitis A is spread through contact with an infected person's stool or through contaminated food or water.
- The viruses are not spread through casual contact with infected persons.
Who is at an increased risk for getting viral hepatitis?
- People who share IV needles or “works”.
- People who have multiple sexual partners or have had sexually transmitted diseases.
- People who have received unscreened blood, plasma or other blood products and/or organ or tissue transplants.
- People who work in medical or other settings that place them at risk for exposure to infected blood or body fluids.
- People who are long time household contacts or sexual contacts of infected individuals.
What does the Florida Hepatitis and Liver Failure Prevention and Control Program offer me?
- This program offers annual blood testing to see if you are infected with hepatitis A, B or C and information about these viral hepatitis infections.
- The program also offers vaccines against the hepatitis A and B viruses.
- There is no charge for the services.
What does it mean if my blood results turn out positive for the viruses?
- Positive results indicate a past or present infection with the virus.
- All positive results are reported as infectious disease to state agencies and the CDC.
- You will be contacted by letter or phone calls concerning your results. We may need to get more information from you about how you may have been infected or how you could have infected others.
- We will offer you information regarding prevention of transmission of the virus to others and healthy lifestyle choices for yourself.
- It may mean you will need additional testing to find out if the virus has damaged your liver.
- You will need to be sure to see your primary care physician for overall health monitoring.
When will I get my results?
You will receive your blood test results in approximately three weeks. Results will be sent to you in a letter or you may be called with your results. It is important that we have the correct address and phone number to be able to reach you. If you wish, you may make arrangements to pick up your results in person. We do not release the results to anyone else. Your records are confidential.
Who can I contact with questions I may have?
If you have questions you wish to discuss you may contact:
Florida Department of Health in Alachua County Hepatitis Program Coordinator
- CDC Viral Hepatitis Home Page
- FL DOH Hepatitis Program Look here for support groups.
- Hepatitis Health Newsletter
- Immunization Action Coalition Hepatitis Resources
- Immunization Action Coalition Hepatitis Programs
- Hepatitis Foundation International
- Clinical Trials: