There is no harm in taking a hepatitis test straight after a potential exposure. However, you need to be aware that a false-negative result may occur if a sample is collected in the window period post exposure. This window period refers to the time between exposure and when a laboratory test can detect the infectious agent. Note that the window period differs from the incubation period (time from exposure to development of symptoms).
Our hepatitis B test detects the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to the hepatitis B core (anti-HBc), which can take 30 to 60 days to become detectable.
Antibodies to hepatitis C may be detected with our test as early as two weeks post-exposure, but are generally not detected until 8-11 weeks post-exposure, and can be longer in individuals that lack an adequate immune response.
People that take a hepatitis test within the window period post-exposure and receive a negative result will need to retest after the window period to be sure of an accurate result.