Thursday, September 22, 2022

Can Hepatitis C Be Transmitted Through Sex

Blood Transfusion/receipt Of Blood Products

How Is Hepatitis Transmitted?

Early case-control studies of patients with newly acquired, symptomatic non-A, non-B hepatitis found a significant association between disease acquisition and a history six months prior to illness of blood transfusions, injection drug use, health care employment with frequent exposure to blood, personal contact with others who had hepatitis, multiple sexual partners or low socioeconomic status. Today, HCV is rarely transmitted by blood transfusion or transplantation of organs due to thorough screening of the blood supply for the presence of the virus and inactivation procedures that destroy bloodborne viruses. In the last several years, blood banks have instituted techniques that utilize nucleic acid amplification of the hepatitis C virus, which will detect the presence of virus even in newly-infected patients who are still hepatitis C antibody-negative. These techniques are estimated to have prevented 56 transfusion-associated HCV infections per year in the U.S. since 1999, and have lowered the current risk of acquiring HCV via transfused blood products to 1 in 2 million.

Can You Contract Hepatitis C From Saliva

Nope! Finally, an easy question to answer. You cant contract hep C from kissing a person whos contracted the virus. Youre also in the clear if you want to share food or take a sip of their iced coffee.

But you probably shouldnt share a toothbrush with a person whos contracted hep C. You wont contract hep C from any spit on that shared toothbrush. But if someone living with hep C is experiencing bleeding gums, and that blood gets on the toothbrush you use for your mouth, you may contract the virus too.

Also, just dont share toothbrushes. No couple needs to be that close.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Hep C Sexually

Hepatitis C spreads by contact with an infected persons blood. Although uncommon, hepatitis C can be transmitted through sexual activity, if the person has genital sores and cuts. It can also be transmitted during menstruation. However, just 2% of hepatitis C cases are sexually transmitted.

The risk of getting hepatitis C sexually increases in the following situations:

  • Men who have sex with men

Also Check: What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis

How Hbv Is Spread

It is possible for the hepatitis B virus to be spread through the bodily fluids of an infected person, which is to say that the virus can be transmitted through the blood, sweat, tears, saliva, semen, vaginal secretions, menstrual blood, and breast milk of an infected person. That said, having hepatitis B does not necessarily mean that you are infectious only some people with HBV are actually contagious.

Opportunities for exposure can include sharing a syringe or getting tattoos or body piercings with infected tools. But it also means that it is possible to be exposed during childbirth as well as sexual contact and intercourse. In fact, nearly two-thirds of acute cases of hepatitis B in the United States are caused by sexual exposure.

Though HBV can be spread through blood, there is generally very little risk of contracting the virus through blood transfusions as most countries began screening for it by 1975.

Sexual Transmission And Hepatitis A

Ask the Experts: Can HCV be Transmitted Through Sex?

Transmission of hepatitis A virus can occur from any sexual activity with an infected person and is not limited to fecal-oral contact. People who are sexually active are considered at risk for hepatitis A if they are MSM, live with or are having sex with an infected person, or inject drugs. Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing hepatitis A transmission among people at risk for infection. CDC has published recommendations for prevention of hepatitis A that identify all groups recommended for vaccination, including hepatitis A vaccination for MSM.

Read Also: How Can You Transmit Hepatitis C

Is Hepatitis C Sexually Transmitted

Can hepatitis C be spread through sexual contact?

Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus . The disease can be passed from person to person.

As with many infections, HCV lives in blood and bodily fluids. You can contract hepatitis C by coming into direct contact with an infected persons blood. It can also be transmitted by contact with bodily fluids including saliva or semen of an infected person, but this is rare.

Researchers in found that 1 out of every 190,000 instances of heterosexual sexual contact led to HCV transmission. Participants in the study were in monogamous sexual relationships.

HCV may be more likely to spread through sexual contact if you:

  • have multiple sexual partners
  • participate in rough sex, which is more likely to result in broken skin or bleeding
  • dont use barrier protection, such as condoms or dental dams
  • dont use barrier protection properly
  • have a sexually transmitted infection or HIV

Theres no evidence that HCV can be spread through oral sex. However, it may still be possible if blood is present from either the person giving or receiving oral sex.

For example, a slight risk may exist if any of the following are present:

  • menstrual blood
  • genital warts
  • any other breaks in the skin in the involved areas

Though sexual transmission is rare overall, HCV may be more likely to spread through anal sex than oral sex. This is because rectal tissue is more likely to tear during intercourse.

Why Should I Get Treated

Hepatitis C can be fatal when left untreated.

Untreated hepatitis C can lead to scarring of the liver known as cirrhosis.

A small number of people with cirrhosis will go on to get liver failure, the only treatment for which is a liver transplant. A small proportion of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer.

Also Check: What Are The Symptoms To Hepatitis C

Hepatitis A And Safe Sex

Hepatitis A is most often contracted through eating or drinking something that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Contact with feces of an infected person through sexual activity, including anal sex or oral-anal activity, can result in the spread of hepatitis A to a sexual partner. Even a condom may not be protective, because handling a contaminated condom may lead to spread of the virus onto hands and into the mouth.

How Hcv Is Spread

What is Hepatitis C? | How is Hepatitis C Transmitted?

The hepatitis C virus is transmitted primarily through blood to blood contact, meaning that a person can become infected with the virus should the blood of a person who carries the virus be introduced into another person’s bloodstream.

Therefore, as with hepatitis B, blood transfusions , tattooing and body piercing, occupational exposure, medical procedures, and intravenous drug use can all lead to possible exposure to the virus. Unlike hepatitis B, however, sexual contact and childbirth have both been shown to be an inefficient route of exposure to HCV.

The hepatitis G virus is thought to be transmitted in a similar way to HCV.

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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.

Why Might Hcv Be Transmitted Under These Circumstances

Transmission happens when you get tiny breaches of the skin, which can occur with anal sex whether youre heterosexual or gay. It can also happen when you get tiny breaches in the nasal mucosa, thats how its thought to be spread through the use of intra-nasal drugs. It can also be spread through intravenous drugs use.

Also Check: Hepatitis B E Antibody Reactive Means

Recommendations For Service Providers

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.
  • Contaminated Food And Water

    Sexually Active with Hepatitis C

    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 isn’t 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.

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    Which Hepatitis Is An Std

    Hepatitis A, B, and C can be sexually transmitted.

    • Hepatitis A: Although the fecal-oral route is common for hepatitis A, the virus can also be transmitted from any sexual activity. The use of condoms does not effectively prevent the spread of hepatitis A.
    • Hepatitis B: Sexual contact is the most common mode of Hepatitis B transmission in the United States. Compared to HIV, a hepatitis B infection is 50 to 100 times more likely to be transmitted sexually. The transmission risk is higher among unvaccinated people with risk behaviors like having multiple sex partners and men having sex with men .
    • Hepatitis C: The Hepatitis C virus may be transmitted via sexual contact. However, studies have shown that such transmission is very rare. A higher rate of sexual transmission of the hepatitis C infection is seen in MSM, especially those who practice unprotected anal intercourse and have an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus .

    Hepatitis C Symptoms & Treatment

    FAST FACTS:

    • Hepatitis C is found in infected blood. It is also rarely found in semen and vaginal fluids.

    • Hepatitis C is mainly passed on through using contaminated needles and syringes or sharing other items with infected blood on them. It can also be passed on through unprotected sex, especially when blood is present.

    • You can prevent hepatitis C by never sharing needles and syringes, practising safer sex, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.

    • Hepatitis C will often not have any noticeable symptoms, but a simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have hepatitis C.

    • In the early stages, some peoples bodies can clear a hepatitis C infection on their own, others may develop chronic hepatitis C and will need to take antiviral treatment to cure the infection.

    • Without treatment, chronic hepatitis C can lead to permanent liver damage.

    Hepatitis C is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver.

    Its mainly passed on through contaminated needles, either from injecting drugs or from needle stick injuries in healthcare settings. It can also be transmitted sexually, especially during anal sex or other types of sex that may involve blood.

    Some groups are more at risk of getting hepatitis C than others, including people who use drugs, people in prisons, men who have sex with men, health workers and people living with HIV.

    Read Also: How Did I Get Hepatitis C

    Can Hep C Be Transmitted Through Sperm

    Maybe? Again, the answer isnt super clear. One small 2008 study on 13 people with positive blood test results for HCV found no evidence of the virus in their semen. However, a more recent small study on 33 men with HIV and hep C found that their semen contained enough HCV to potentially transmit the infection to their sexual partners.

    And another small study emphasized that HCV may be found in rectal fluid and mucosa at high levels. This would make it easier to transmit the virus to a partner through anal sex.

    Is there evidence of hep C being transmitted through sperm or rectal fluid IRL? Nope. But given that it may be possible, its a good idea to use a barrier method during sex.

    How Can I Protect Myself And Others

    Can Hepatitis Be Transmitted By Mosquitoes?
    • Never share injecting drug equipment or things that may have blood on them such as toothbrushes and razors. Also avoid sharing straws or rolled up banknotes if snorting drugs with others.
    • Use condoms for anal and vaginal sex and latex gloves for fisting.
    • During group sex, cover anything which goes from one partner to another with a fresh condom or fresh latex glove for each new person it enters. Clean objects with warm water and anti-bacterial soap before using on a new partner.
    • Dont share enema equipment or pots of lubricant.

    If you have hepatitis C you may want to tell a partner and explain that youre infectious. They can then decide if they’re happy to take any risks and whether they want to take precautions. That way they cannot accuse you of infecting them without them knowing that the risk was there.

    Recommended Reading: How Do You Contract Hepatitis B Virus

    How Did I Get It

    There are several ways of getting hepatitis B. One way is by sexual contact with an infected person.

    Hepatitis B virus is transmitted through blood and body fluids especially through anal sex. Other ways are by sharing personal items , and sharing needles or equipment for injection drug use. Healthcare and emergency service workers can get it through needle stick injuries or blood splashes in the eyes, nose, mouth or on broken skin.

    Is Hepatitis C Virus Sexually Transmitted

    Exploring what we thought we knew and what we think we know now about how hepatitis C is passed on.

    In the 15 or so years after the discovery of hepatitis C virus , the evidence did not point to the virus being sexually transmissible. Thanks to mounting data over the last decade, researchers and clinicians now view the virus differently.

    Here, Dr Chloe Orkin, Consultant and Honorary Reader in HIV Medicine at Barts Health NHS Trust, explains how the medical profession came to understand that HCV can be transmitted through sexual contact.

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    Building Healthy Sexual Relationships

    Rule number one for a healthy sexual relationship: Be open and honest with your partners. I believe in transparency, says Talal. This conversation can be difficult, but its important to have. Part of discussing your status is talking about what exposure you may have had to hepatitis C, even in the distant past.

    Its a good opportunity for you both to share your sexual history, as well as your experiences with other ways hepatitis C can be transmitted, such as using injection drugs or being exposed to items that may have blood on them, including needles, razors, and toothbrushes.

    Sherman explains that even if you consistently use condoms during sex, other activities, such as sharing needles to inject drugs or sharing straws to snort them, increase your risk of spreading hepatitis C. People do not want to hear about this, he says. Its difficult to get the word out about risk.

    If you and your partner find that hepatitis C is disrupting your relationship or your sex life, you might also consider working with a marriage and family therapist or a sex therapist.

    How It’s Passed On

    Hepatitis C in females: Symptoms, causes, and treatment

    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.

    Read Also: How Long Does It Take To Cure Hepatitis C

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