Is Sex Safe If One Person Has Hepatitis C
While the risk of transmitting the hepatitis C virus through sex is low, some sexual activities do increase the risk. Here’s what to know to stay safe.
If you or your partner has been diagnosed with hepatitis C, you dont have to swear off sex. Hepatitis C is spread through blood-to-blood contact, and although certain sexual behaviors may increase the risk of hepatitis C, the virus is only rarely spread through sexual transmission.
That doesnt mean you should throw caution to the wind: Although treatable, hepatitis C is a serious illness that can harm the liver and lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, and other health complications. Whats more, it usually doesnt cause symptoms and can go undetected for years even decades.
The risk comes down to whether sex results in mucosal tears in body tissues, such as to the or the rectum, says Andrew H. Talal, MD, MPH, a hepatologist and professor in the department of medicine at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, part of The State University of New York.
Even the smallest tear in the skin or tissue gives the hepatitis C virus a way to travel from one body and enter the other. You need to always think about blood being exchanged thats where you need to be careful, Dr. Talal adds.
Ways You Wont Spread Hepatitis C
There are some ways in which you wont spread HCV, though. Go ahead and let your significant other have a bite of your sandwich or dessert. According to the CDC, hepatitis C isnt spread by sharing silverware or drinking glasses, or through water or foods. Showing affection by holding hands, hugging, or kissing is also safe, Lee says. And although germs from sneezing or coughing might cause you to get a cold, they wont give you hepatitis C.
Can Vaccines Prevent The Sexual Transmission Of Hepatitis
- Hepatitis A: Measures used to prevent the spread of STDs, like the use of condoms, do not prevent hepatitis A transmission. Fortunately, an effective vaccine for preventing Hepatitis A transmission is available and is the most important measure to protect people at risk of infection.
- Hepatitis B: A hepatitis B vaccine safely and effectively protects against infection of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have recommended the hepatitis B vaccination for:
- Sexually active people who are not in long-term, mutually monogamous relationships .
- People seeking evaluation or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease.
- CDC also recommends hepatitis B testing and hepatitis B vaccination for
- Sexual partners of people with hepatitis B.
Recent Studies Of The Sexual Transmission Of Hepatitis C
The information below is a summary of the most extensive study into the sexual transmission of Hepatitis C in heterosexual couples. If you wish to read the entire study please click on the link above.
The rate of hepatitis C virus transmission by sexual activity remains controversial.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of HCV-positive subjects and their partners to estimate the risk for HCV infection among monogamous heterosexual couples.
A total of 500 antiHCV-positive, HIV negative subjects and their long-term heterosexual partners were studied. Couples were interviewed separately for lifetime risk factors for HCV infection, within-couple sexual practices, and sharing of personal grooming items.
Blood samples were tested for Hepatitis C RNA, and HCV genotype.
The majority of HCV-positive index subjects were non-Hispanic white, with an age range of 26 to 79 years and a range of 2 to 52 years of sexual activity with their partners.
Overall, HCV prevalence among partners was 4% . Viral isolates in three couples were highly related, consistent with transmission of virus within the couple.
Based on 8,377 person-years of follow-up, the maximum incidence rate of HCV transmission by sex was 0.07% per year or approximately one per 190,000 sexual contacts. No specific sexual practices were related to HCV positivity among couples.
- Post Categories
Sexually Transmitted Infections In The Western Pacific
There were an estimated 108 million new cases of one of four curable sexually transmitted infections in the Region in 2018. STIs can have serious reproductive health consequences, including infertility, mother-to-child transmission, adverse birth outcomes including stillbirths and newborn deaths, increased risk of HIV acquisition, and cancer.
Of the eight most common STIs, four are currently curable: syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. The other four infections are caused by viruses and cannot be cured: hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus , HIV, and human papillomavirus . Symptoms or disease due to these viral infections can be reduced or modified through treatment.
When used correctly and consistently, condoms are one of the most effective methods of protection against STIs and HIV. Early diagnosis of STIs, among people with or without symptoms, offers the best opportunity for effective medical treatment and support, and for preventing further transmission.
Recommended Reading: Daa Drugs For Hepatitis C
You May Like: Hepato Support For Dogs Side Effects
Can Hepatitis B Infection Be Prevented
Fortunately, hepatitis B is one of the few STDs that has a vaccine. Completing the vaccination series is the best and most effective way to prevent hepatitis B infection. If you are at risk for hepatitis B, talk with your doctor about the vaccine. You can also contact your local health department.
Until you are fully protected with the vaccine, you can take steps to safeguard yourself. Practice safe sex and wear gloves when cleaning up blood or giving first aid. Clean blood spills with bleach and water. The virus can survive outside the body and remains infectious for a week.
If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis B through sex, seek immediate medical care. You can decrease the risk of developing an infection if you get the vaccine within 12 to 24 hours of exposure. Along with the vaccine, you may also need HBIG . This shot contains antibodies against . It works short-term to help prevent infection or fight off the infection if it occurs. HBIG can also help prevent severe infection.
Also Check: Can You Get Hepatitis A After Vaccination
The Types Of Viral Hepatitis
There are five main types of viral hepatitis known as hepatitis A , hepatitis B , hepatitis C , hepatitis D , and hepatitis E . That said, there have been cases of acute hepatitis that could not be attributed to one of these five types of hepatitis viruses, alcohol, drugs, or autoimmune disease, which lead researchers to try to find another cause.
Though the etiology of these viruses have not yet been fully established, researchers have identified three other types of viral hepatitis , which they have named hepatitis F , hepatitis G , and transfusions transmitted virus . As relatively new diseases and viral discoveries, information about them and how they work is relatively scarce. We do know, however, that cases of TTV have only been associated with hepatitis in people who have had a blood transfusion.
Read Also: What Is Hepatitis C Caused By
What Is Hepatitis C
The term hepatitis means an inflammation of the liver. The inflammation may damage the liver, which is the largest internal organ in the body. The liver filters the blood and breaks down harmful substances.
Infection with a virus is the most common cause of hepatitis. If a person contracts HCV, the disease is called hepatitis C, or hep C for short.
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are other types of hepatitis that result from viral infection. Hepatitis A, B, and C differ in the way they spread, their effect on the liver, and their method of treatment, according to the
HCV causes hepatitis C. A person may contract HCV by coming into contact with the blood of someone else who has the condition. Even microscopic amounts of blood may be enough to spread the virus.
In the United States, the way for someone to contract hepatitis C is by sharing drug-injection equipment, such as needles or syringes.
According to the , other ways a person may contract hepatitis C include:
- coming into contact with the open sores or blood of a person with the condition
- using the toothbrush, nail clippers, or razor of a person with the condition
- getting a tattoo or piercing with non-sterile instruments or inks
- getting an accidental stick with a needle from someone with hepatitis C
About 6% of babies born to people with hepatitis C will develop hepatitis C.
Sometimes an individual will experience symptoms 13 months after contracting HCV, according to
You May Like: How To Live With Hepatitis B
Parenteral Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis B Hepatitis D And Hepatitis C
Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses are all transmitted by what is known as the parenteral route. Parenteral simply means that these viruses can be introduced by all routes except through the intestinal tract, which leaves the door wide open in terms of possible exposure. Lets look at the possible transmission routes for each of these types of hepatitis virus more closely.
Also Check: Symptoms Of Hepatitis C In Males
Contaminated Food And Water
Hepatitis A is most commonly passed on by eating food prepared by someone with the virus whose hands have not been washed properly. You can also get it by drinking dirty water and by eating raw or undercooked shellfish from dirty water.
You can protect yourself by:
- Washing your hands each time you go to the toilet, before you prepare or eat food, after coughing or sneezing, or handling rubbish or other dirty items.
- Peeling and washing all your fresh fruit and vegetables avoiding raw or undercooked meat and fish avoiding all drinks if youre not sure if theyre safe with or without ice.
- If tap water isnt safe and bottled water isnt available, boil tap water before drinking it.
- People living in places with poor sanitation and hygiene are at a greater risk of hepatitis A infection. You may also be exposed to hepatitis A through your work, for example, sewage workers, staff in institutions where levels of personal hygiene may be poor , people working with animals that may be infected with hepatitis A and daycare centres.
Is Hepatitis A Sexually Transmitted Disease
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Some types of viral hepatitis can be transmitted through sexual contact, in addition to being transmitted via other routes. Each type of hepatitis virus has a different risk of being transmitted through sex.
You May Like: Hepatitis C Genotype 4 Treatment
How To Prevent Transmission
Between 2% and 6% of adults infected with hepatitis B virus will develop chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and liver cancer, so protecting yourself is important.
The hepatitis B vaccine is safe for almost everyone and about 95% effective for providing long-term protection against hepatitis B infection.
While anyone can benefit from the vaccine, people who are at a greater risk of being exposed to the virusbecause of their work, lifestyle or medical historyare strongly encouraged to be immunized. In many countries, babies born to infected mothers get vaccinated at birth. All babies born in the United States are routinely vaccinated.
Hepatitis B immune globulin , is another way to prevent hepatitis B infection in babies born to infected mothers or after exposure to the virus. This uses concentrated antibodies to provide immediate protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is given as a shot and can provide short-term protection against hepatitis B.
Because the hepatitis B vaccine does not protect against HIV, hepatitis C or other diseases spread through sex and contact with blood, it is still important to keep using basic protective strategies. Practicing safer sex and not sharing needles are recommendedeven if youre immune to hepatitis B.
You May Like: Glomerulonephritis Due To Infectious Hepatitis
Immunostaining For Hbv Surface Antigen And Hbv Core Antigen
Immunostaining for HBsAg and HBcAg was performed on frozen sections, using the Ventana i VIEW DAB detection kit and the Dako Envision kit , respectively. Primary monoclonal antibodies to HBsAg , at a 1:100 dilution, and polyclonal antibodies to HBcAg , at a 1:500 dilution, were used. Liver tissue was taken from mice after they were euthanized, and the tissue was stored at 80°C.
Recommended Reading: How Hepatitis B And C Are Transmitted
Also Check: Which Test For Hepatitis B
Is Hepatitis A A Sexually Transmitted Disease
by ShawnPublished on April 8, 2020Updated on June 15, 2020
While hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, all cause liver inflammation, they are different diseases caused by different viruses. The latter two may be sexually transmitted, but hepatitis A is typically not considered an STD. For this reason, people often wonder if hepatitis A is sexually transmitted at all. And if not, how is it passed from one person to another? All great questions, but to answer them, well need to start with the basics.
Is Hepatitis A Sexually Transmitted
Is Hep A an STD? How is Hep A spread? Hepatitis A virus can be transmitted through any sexual activity that is with someone who has the infection. This also goes for what is called a brown shower in the BDSM world. A brown shower is when the excrement of someone is emptied into the mouth of another person. Similar to a golden shower, which refers to urine instead of feces.
Can I Get it Again?
No, if you have been infected with hepatitis A in the past, your body has developed antibodies to the hepatitis A virus, therefore you cannot get it again.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , hepatitis A transmission is decreasing in the United States. Getting tested is especially important if you have traveled or lived in locations such as Eastern Europe, Africa, Mexico, Central or South America, or certain parts of Asia where hepatitis A is prevalent.
Those at a higher risk of acquiring HAV may include those who:
- Live in areas that have a lack of safe water
- Live in a household with an infected person
- Have poor sanitation/hygiene
- Are sexually active but are not vaccinated
- Travel to areas of high endemicity without being vaccinated
- Work with nonhuman primates
You May Like: Hepatitis B And C Can Be Spread By
How Can Hepatitis Be Transmitted
Hepatitis is an unconventional STD in many ways. For one, many people dont think of hepatitis as a sexually transmitted disease. After all, hepatitis is a liver inflammation that can be caused by heavy alcohol and drug use, or ingesting contaminated food not just sexual activity. Additionally, more often than not, people tend to overlook hepatitis when discussing STDs. Nevertheless, several viral strains of hepatitis pose a serious threat to sexually active individuals. How can hepatitis be transmitted? The answers might surprise you:
Immunisation For Hepatitis B
Immunisation is the best protection against hepatitis B infection. A course of vaccination is recommended for all babies and people in high-risk groups.
Immunisation can be with a vaccine against hepatitis B alone or with a combination vaccine. To be immunised, contact your doctor or local council.
Protection against hepatitis B is available free of charge under the National Immunisation Program Schedule. In Victoria, immunisation against hepatitis B is free for:
- Babies at birth immunisation against hepatitis B alone as soon as possible after birth.
- Babies at 2, 4 and 6 months combination immunisation in the form of a diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio and Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine .
- Premature babies at 12 months premature babies born under 32 weeks gestation or under 2,000g birth weight receive a single booster dose.
- Children up to and including 9 years of age.
- People aged less than 20 years having a catch-up immunisation.
- Refugees and humanitarian entrants aged 20 years and above.
In Victoria, free hepatitis B vaccine is provided for people who are at increased risk of infection, including:
Immunisation is also recommended, but not necessarily free, for people who are at increased risk of infection, including:
Recommended Reading: What Is Genotype 3 Hepatitis C
You May Like: What Lab Test For Hepatitis C
Prevention And The Treatment Potential
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection. However, the recent availability of DAA for the treatment of chronic HCV with cures rates over 95% has created optimism towards HCV elimination. In many countries treatment is now available for all individuals with a chronic HCV infection, irrespective of fibrosis stage . Modelling studies were the first to demonstrate that rapid scaleup of DAA might limit onward transmission and chronic HCV prevalence and incidence among MSM could decline , , . However, for substantial reductions a decline in risk behaviour is needed as the scaleup of DAA is counterbalanced by ongoing risk behaviour, resulting in initial and reinfections , , . In addition, early treatment, including treatment of acute infection, might further reduce HCV incidence , . As treatment is costly and treatment uptake varies considerably across countries , effective behavioural interventions for MSM at risk of infection are urgently needed. Qualitative research among HIVpositive MSM with a cured HCV infection in the preDAA era showed that the strongest motive to implement risk reduction strategies was the reward of avoiding HCV retreatment and its side effects , but this may have changed with the less burdensome DAA treatment. Also sexual risk norms within the MSM population, HCV stigma and nondisclosure of HCV status forms barriers to safer sex, and drug use directly impedes the selfefficacy of MSM to take risk reduction measures .