Friday, November 25, 2022

Can Hepatitis C Be Transmitted Sexually

How Are Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Spread From Person To Person

How Is Hepatitis Transmitted?

Like HIV, the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses spread:

  • From mother to child: Pregnant women can pass these infections to their infants. HIV-HCV coinfection increases the risk of passing on hepatitis C to the baby.
  • Sexually: Both viruses can also be transmitted sexually, but HBV is much more likely than HCV to be transmitted sexually. Sexual transmission of HCV is most likely to happen among gay and bisexual men who are living with HIV.

More Ways To Reduce The Risk Of Infection

If you arent sure whether you have hepatitis C, get tested. Testing is especially important if you have sex with more than one person or if you have other risk factors for hepatitis C, including being born being 1945 and 1965, having had a blood transfusion prior to 1992, and injecting drugs .

Talk to your partner about getting tested as well, for hepatitis C and other STDs, so you know the risks before having sex. People who are at risk for hepatitis C are also at risk for HIV and other STDs, emphasizes Talal.

For Safer Sex Treat Hepatitis C

If you have chronic hepatitis C, of the best strategies for preventing transmission of the virus is to get medical treatment. More than 90 percent cases of hepatitis C can be cured within 8 to 12 weeks of treatment, according to the CDC. Newer hepatitis C treatments are not only effective but generally have fewer and much less severe side effects than previous drugs.

Just be aware that during treatment, transmission can still occur. And a cure doesnt grant you protection against the virus for life. If you continue to engage in high-risk behavior, you can get re-infected, warns Kenneth Sherman, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine and the director of the division of digestive diseases at UC Health in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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How It’s Passed On

The hepatitis C virus is found in blood and is passed on when infected blood gets into another persons bloodstream. Its seen as unlikely that it can be passed on in semen.

Most people get the virus from sharing drug injecting equipment such as needles, syringes, water cups, tourniquets, spoons, filters and swabs. Sharing things like straws and banknotes that are used for snorting drugs might pass the virus on, as can sharing pipes.

In the UK piercing and tattooing should be safe but unsterilised equipment abroad can spread the virus.

An infected person risks infecting others if they share anything that might have blood on it like a toothbrush or razor. A pregnant woman with the virus can give it to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth.

Blood transfusions in the UK are safe as blood is screened.

You can also potentially get it from medical or dental treatment abroad in countries where hepatitis C is common and infection control is inadequate.

Do Women Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Infected With Hepatitis Through Sexual Contact

Four curable sexually transmitted infections

Sex does not determine the risk of being infected with hepatitis through sexual contact. The presence of behavioral and other risk factors may make a person vulnerable to getting hepatitis by sexual contact. Some studies, however, suggest that it is easier for a man to transmit HCV to a woman than vice versa. Furthermore, MSM are 10 to 15 times more at risk of getting infected with hepatitis B than the general population.

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Can Males Transmit Hcv To A Fetus

It is unlikely that males can transmit HCV to the fetus through sperm during conception.

A 2004 review of studies investigating assisted reproduction found that while some studies have detected HCV in sperm, the evidence suggests that ejaculated sperm is usually safe to use in fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization.

Hepatitis And Sex: Frequently Asked Questions

Itâs widely known that viral hepatitis can spread through consuming contaminated food or sharing dirty hypodermic needles. But the liver-destroying disease can also sometimes be spread through sexual contact. Hereâs what you need to know to protect yourself.

How many kinds of viral hepatitis are there?

Scientists have identified at least five types of viral hepatitis that lead to liver problems. In the U.S., the main threats are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Can all types be spread by sexual contact?

Hepatitis A spreads via fecal-oral contact, which can occur if there is direct oral-anal contact or contact with fingers or objects that have been in or near the anus of an infected person. If even a microscopic amount of virus-laden feces gets into the mouth, infection potentially can result.

Are men and women equally at risk of getting and spreading hepatitis through sex?

The risk is determined by a personâs behavior, not their gender, although some studies have shown that it is easier for a man to transmit HCV to a woman than vice versa.

Men who have sex with men are 10 to 15 times more likely than the general population to be infected with hepatitis B.

How can I make sure my partner is free of hepatitis before we have sex?

Are some sex acts especially likely to transmit hepatitis?

Any sexual activity that might cause abrasions, cuts, or other trauma is especially risky.

Is it possible to catch hepatitis from kissing?

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How Do You Get Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is really contagious. Its transmitted through contact with semen , vaginal fluids, and blood. You can get it from:

  • having vaginal, anal, or oral sex

  • sharing toothbrushes and razors

  • sharing needles for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.

  • getting stuck with a needle that has the Hep B virus on it.

Hepatitis B can also be passed to babies during birth if their mother has it.

Hepatitis B isnt spread through saliva , so you CANT get hepatitis B from sharing food or drinks or using the same fork or spoon. Hepatitis B is also not spread through kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or breastfeeding.

Recommendations For Service Providers

How is Hepatitis B & C transmitted? | Apollo Hospitals

Integrate hepatitis C education into existing sexual health and HIV services for gbMSM:

  • Know hepatitis C risk factors. Educate gbMSM about the sexual transmission of hepatitis C. Encourage gbMSM having sex that could lead to hepatitis C to:
  • use a new condom for each partner, including on sex toys
  • use a new glove for each partner when fisting
  • use individual lube containers and regularly apply lube
  • For gbMSM who party and play, know where to refer themto harm reduction services such as needle and syringe programs if they are using drugs.
  • Encourage gbMSM who party and play to use new injection drug use equipment every time and to use their own drug use equipment for smoking and snorting drugs.
  • Educate about re-infection. For gbMSM who have had hepatitis C and may be exposed to the hepatitis C virus again, let them know they can be re-infected. Share prevention information, strategies and resources. Encourage routine hepatitis C RNA screening for re-infection every 612 months.
  • Know where to refer gbMSM to get testedfor hepatitis C. Encourage gbMSM who may be exposed to hepatitis C to get tested regularly for hepatitis C as a part of routine STI screening. Let them know there is highly effective treatment to cure hepatitis C.
  • Integrate hepatitis C testing services into existing sexual health and HIV services:

    Integrate sexual health and harm reduction services and programs to support gbMSM:

    References

  • Page EE, Nelson M. Hepatitis C and sex. Clinical Medicine . 2016 16:189-92.
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    What Happens If A Baby Is Hcv Positive

    If a baby tests positive for HCV, they may require monitoring from a doctor with experience treating hepatitis C in children. This may mean a consultation with a pediatric hepatologist.

    The pediatric hepatologist will monitor the babys growth and assess their viral load with a blood test. This determines how much of the virus is in the body.

    A doctor will also determine the genotype of HCV. There are six of these genotypes, and doctors sometimes use different drugs to treat different types.

    Before and during the treatment, doctors will periodically check the childs liver function. They may also recommend vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, as having multiple types of hepatitis increases the risk of liver damage. Children with HCV should also receive annual flu vaccinations.

    do not recommend these drugs during pregnancy, as it is unclear whether they can affect the fetus.

    Doctors are also unsure of the effects of DAAs on babies during breastfeeding. For this reason, adults begin or resume hepatitis C treatment after they have finished breastfeeding.

    Children with HCV typically do not begin treatment until they reach 3 years of age. However, by the age of 2, there is a 40% chance that the immune system has cleared the virus on its own.

    If this does not happen, or if the child has signs of aggressive liver disease that could progress, doctors may begin DAA treatment as soon as possible. The specific drugs involved can depend on the genotype of HCV.

    Poor Infection Control For Tattooing And Piercing

    The notes that HCV may be transmitted by receiving tattoos or piercings from unregulated settings with poor infection control standards.

    Commercially licensed tattooing and piercing businesses are generally thought to be safe.

    More informal settings may not have adequate safeguards to help avoid the spread of infections. Receiving a tattoo or piercing in settings such as in a prison or in a home with friends carries a of HCV transmission

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    Sharing Personal Care Items

    The chances of spreading hepatitis C within your household are low but possible. To be safe, don’t share personal care items that could be contaminated with blood, Lee says. These include razors, toothbrushes, cuticle scissors, and nail clippers.

    In addition, be mindful when you go to nail salons or barbershops, where the same tools are used on all customers. A study published in the November-December 2014 issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice found that while regulations to safeguard the public exist in most states, it’s unknown how many businesses comply with them. Ask about tool-sterilization procedures before you frequent these establishments. You can also bring your own nail care supplies.

    Ways You Wont Spread Hepatitis C

    Symptoms and warning signs of 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.

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    How Does Hepatitis C Spread

    Hepatitis C is spread only through exposure to an infected person’s blood.

    High-risk activities include:

    • Sharing drug use equipment. Anything involved with injecting street drugs, from syringes, to needles, to tourniquets, can have small amounts of blood on it that can transmit hepatitis C. Pipes and straws to smoke or snort drugs can have blood on them from cracked lips or nosebleeds. Get into a treatment program if you can. At the very least, don’t share needles or equipment with anyone else.
    • Sharing tattoo or piercing tools. Nonsterile items and ink can spread contaminated blood.
    • Blood transfusions in countries that donât screen blood for hepatitis C.
    • Nonsterile medical equipment. Tools that arenât cleaned properly between use can spread the virus.
    • Blood or cutting rituals. Sharing the tools or exchanging blood can transmit hepatitis C.

    Medium-risk activities include:

    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 .

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis And Can It Be Treated

    Scientists have reported an unusual spike in hepatitis cases among children, with 60 cases in children under 10 years of age being investigated in England.

    A further 11 children under the age of five in Scotland have been admitted to hospital with the inflammatory liver condition.

    Hepatitis is usually the result of a viral infection or liver damage cause by alcohol, and symptoms include yellowing of the eyes and skin , loss of appetite, a high temperature, dark urine, and feeling unusually tired all the time.

    Scientists say that the children infected have been screened for the common viruses that are known to cause hepatitis but none of these viruses have been detected.

    Non-A-to-E hepatitis is a rare condition and there does seem to be a mini-epidemic/kick-up in the number of cases at the present time, general paediatrics professor at University College London, Alastair Sutcliffe, said.

    A consequence of the lockdown with sudden increased exposure to the causative agent in a non-immune population seems the most plausible explanation, he added.

    According to the World Health Organisation , hepatitis B and C affect approximately 500 million people around the world, causing around 1.5 million deaths every year.

    One in three people are said to have been exposed to either or both of the viruses, while the majority of people infected with the virus are not aware of it.

    WHO states that hepatitis is preventable, treatable, and in the case of hepatitis C, curable.

    How Do You Prevent Hepatitis

    Can Hepatitis Be Transmitted By Mosquitoes?

    Both hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine. There is currently no vaccine available to prevent hepatitis C.

    To prevent spreading or getting hepatitis A:

    • Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, changing diapers, touching garbage or dirty clothes, and before preparing food and eating
    • Follow guidelines for food safety
    • Avoid unpasteurized milk or foods made with it
    • Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before eating
    • Keep the refrigerator colder than 40°F and the freezer below 0°F
    • Cook meat and seafood until well done
    • Cook egg yolks until firm
    • Wash hands, knives, and cutting boards after contact with raw food

    To prevent spreading or getting hepatitis B or hepatitis C:

    • Practice safe sex and use a latex condom each time you have sex
    • Dont share razors, toothbrushes, or any personal objects that might have blood on them
    • Dont share needles or syringes
    • Cover cuts and open sores with bandages
    • Clean blood off of things with a mixture of bleach and water: use 9 parts bleach to one-part water

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    Tips For Preventing Transmission Through Sex

    If youre sexually active with a person who has hepatitis C, there are ways that you can prevent contracting the virus. Likewise, if you have the virus, you can avoid infecting others.

    A few steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission include:

    • using a condom during every sexual contact, including oral sex
    • learning to use all barrier devices correctly to prevent ripping or tearing during intercourse
    • resisting engaging in sexual contact when either partner has an open cut or wound in their genitals
    • being tested for STIs and asking sexual partners to be tested too
    • practicing sexual monogamy
    • using extra precautions if youre HIV-positive, as your chance of contracting HCV is much higher if you have HIV

    If you have hepatitis C, you should be honest with all sexual partners about your status. This ensures that youre both taking the proper precautions to prevent transmission.

    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

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