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New testing for Hepatitis B

The point of care (POC) finger prick testing, introduced by the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand (HFNZ) is the first of its kind for hepatitis B in NZ. It’s easy to use and less invasive than blood tests, and is highly accurate.  

Hepatitis B is often called a silent disease as there are often no symptoms until liver damage occurs, so people may not know they have it. Māori, Pacific Island and east Asian people are considered high risk, as is anyone with a mother or close family member with the virus, or who shares a household with someone who has it. Anyone aged over 30 who isn’t vaccinated against hepatitis B should have a POC as an initial test.

“Hepatitis B is one of the main causes of liver cancer in NZ,” Susan says. “About 100,000 New Zealanders live with the chronic form of the virus. To reduce this incidence, HFNZ is  partnering with community healthcare organisations and kaupapa Màori partners to test their patients.

“It’s important for everyone in the healthcare industry to work together to help people with hepatitis B achieve positive outcomes.”

The foundation offers regular blood tests, education and support for people with hepatitis B. There is no cure for the virus, but treatment is available. Phone 0800 33 20 10 or email


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