All Americans ages 18 and older should be screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) at least once, according to updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People at increased risk should be tested more often, and HBV testing should be repeated during each pregnancy. This replaces previous guidance that recommended screening based on risk factors.
HBV can be transmitted via shared needles and personal care items, during sex and from mother to child during pregnancy. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious complications, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. HBV vaccination is now recommended for all infants, children and adults.