Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Can You Get Hepatitis C Through Saliva

Can Hepatitis C Spread Through Saliva

What is Hepatitis C and Why Should You Care?

Two letters: N.O. Hepatitis C is spread when the blood of an infected person gets into the body of another person. It does not spread through coughs and sneezes or from sharing food or drinks. Theres also no evidence that kissing transmits the virus, says Raymond Chung, M.D., director of the Hepatology and Liver Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Theoretically, its possible if both people have an open wound on or in their mouths, he says, so maybe hold off on any kissing when your mouth is bleeding.

How Do You Test For Hepatitis C

A simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have the virus. You may also be given an extra test to see if your liver is damaged.

If youve got hepatitis C you should be tested for other STIs. It’s important that you tell your recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested and treated. Many people who have hepatitis C do not notice anything wrong, and by telling them you can help to stop the virus being passed on. It can also stop you from getting the infection again.

What Won’t Transmit Hepatitis And How To Prevent It

There are 170 million cases of hepatitis C worldwide, and nearly 4 million in the United States. Prevention is important, but hepatitis C can’t be spread by sharing utensils and cups, or by casual contact.

This means that if you are diagnosed with hepatitis C and don’t know how you got ityou can’t blame your infection on sharing a fork with someone. Read on about other ways that you can’t catch or transmit hepatitis C.

Read Also: How Would You Know If You Have Hepatitis

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.

Encouraging Others To Get Tested For Hepatitis C

Why Isn

While the odds of passing on the hepatitis C virus are low, you should still tell anyone at risk that you have hepatitis C. You should tell sexual partners, spouses, and family members. Your infection may be difficult to discuss, but anyone at potential risk must know. That way, they can get tested and treated if needed. Read more on why you should get tested for hepatitis C.

Show Sources

Paul Berk, MD, professor of medicine and emeritus chief of the division of liver disease, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City chairman of the board, American Liver Foundation.

Alan Franciscus, executive director, Hepatitis C Support Project and editor-in-chief of HCV Advocate, San Francisco.

Thelma King Thiel, chair and CEO, Hepatitis Foundation International.

David Thomas, MD, professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore.

Howard J. Worman, MD, associate professor of medicine and anatomy and cell biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York City.

The American Gastroenterological Association.

Don’t Miss: Can You Get Hepatitis From Saliva

How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis C

Doctors treat hepatitis C with antiviral medicines that attack the virus and can cure the disease in most cases.

Several newer medicines, called direct-acting antiviral medicines, have been approved to treat hepatitis C since 2013. Studies show that these medicines can cure chronic hepatitis C in most people with this disease. These medicines can also cure acute hepatitis C. In some cases, doctors recommend waiting to see if an acute infection becomes chronic before starting treatment.

Your doctor may prescribe one or more of these newer, direct-acting antiviral medicines to treat hepatitis C:

You may need to take medicines for 8 to 24 weeks to cure hepatitis C. Your doctor will prescribe medicines and recommend a length of treatment based on

  • which hepatitis C genotype you have
  • how much liver damage you have
  • whether you have been treated for hepatitis C in the past

Your doctor may order blood tests during and after your treatment. Blood tests can show whether the treatment is working. Hepatitis C medicines cure the infection in most people who complete treatment.

Hepatitis C medicines may cause side effects. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of treatment. Check with your doctor before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

For safety reasons, talk with your doctor before using dietary supplements, such as vitamins, or any complementary or alternative medicines or medical practices.

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.

Don’t Miss: Is Hepatitis C Considered An Std

If Youve Got Hep C Spitting Can Be A Felony

By Michelle AndrewsJune 19, 2018

We encourage organizations to republish our content, free of charge. Heres what we ask:

You must credit us as the original publisher, with a hyperlink to our khn.org site. If possible, please include the original author and Kaiser Health News in the byline. Please preserve the hyperlinks in the story.

Have questions? Let us know at

Hepatitis C Symptoms & Treatment

NY Cures Hep C Campaign: âLearn about Hepatitis C Transmission and Preventionâ? Animated Video

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.

Also Check: Causes Of Hepatitis C Virus

Can You Get Hepatitis C From Saliva Or Kissing

More than 3.5 million Americans are infected with chronic Hepatitis C, one of the most common causes of liver disease today. Although it is believed to be primarily transmitted through blood to blood contact, there are indications that other means of contracting Hepatitis C are possible. Discover if this means you can get Hepatitis C from saliva and even kissing.

As the most common chronic blood borne infection in the United States, the concentration of Hepatitis C virus in a drop of infected blood is exponentially higher than the concentration of HIV in a drop of infected blood. This explains why it is important to avoid anything that could possibly be tainted with any amount of blood. While not normally found in urine, semen, vaginal/cervical fluids, feces or saliva, injury or illness may cause some of these substances to be contaminated with blood.

In nearly half the cases of Hepatitis C, the infected individuals cannot identify the source for their infection. While it is believed most cases are due to risk factors involving contaminated blood, there remain unidentified modes of Hepatitis C transmission.

Can you get Hepatitis C from saliva? Yes salivary transmission is one potential explanation for many unexplained viral causes.

Tiny and Infectious

As documented by occupational exposure statistics, Hepatitis C is approximately seven times more infectious than HIV.

Can You Get Hepatitis from Saliva?

Can You Get Hepatitis from Kissing?

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.

Also Check: Hiv And Hepatitis Blood Test

Who Is Most At Risk Of Contracting Hepatitis C

You have a high risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:

  • use or have used injection drugs even if it was just once or many years ago
  • have received blood or blood products or an organ transplant before July 1990 in Canada
  • have been in jail or
  • have been injected or scratched during vaccination, surgery, blood transfusion or a religious/ceremonial ritual in regions where hepatitis C is common.

You have a high moderate risk of contracting hepatitis C if you:

  • have tattoos or body piercing
  • have multiple sexual partners
  • have a sexually transmitted infection , including HIV or lymphogranuloma venereum
  • have experienced traumatic sex or rough sex or have used sex toys or fisting that can tear body tissue
  • have vaginal sex during menstruation
  • have received a kidney treatment
  • have received an accidental injury from a needle or syringe
  • have another infectious disease
  • were born to a hepatitis C infected mother or
  • have a sexual partner infected with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is NOT passed from person to person by:

  • coughing, sneezing
  • breastfeeding unless your nipples are cracked and bleeding or
  • oral sex, unless blood is present.

Can I Have Sex Safely With Hep C

Symptoms and warning signs of Hepatitis C

Hep C can be transmitted through unprotected sex, but the risk is low. Having multiple sexual partners, rough sex, or anal sexbasically, any time blood may be involvedincrease the risk. Dr. Chung recommends following the same rules of safe sex that apply to anyone who is sexually active and not in a monogamous relationship: Tell all new sexual partners that you have hep C and always use a condom. If youre in a long-term, monogamous relationship, you dont need to take any extra precautions, Dr. Chung says.

Also Check: Difference Between Hepatitis B And Hiv

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.

How Can I Protect Myself From Hepatitis C Infection

If you dont have hepatitis C, you can help protect yourself from hepatitis C infection by

  • not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
  • wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
  • making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools and unopened ink
  • not sharing personal items such toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers

Hepatitis C can spread from person to person during sex, but the chances are low. People who have multiple sex partners, have HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases, or who engage in rough or anal sex have a higher chance of getting hepatitis C. Talk with your doctor about your risk of getting hepatitis C through sex and about safe sex practices, such as using a latex or polyurethane condom to help prevent the spread of hepatitis C.

If you had hepatitis C in the past and your body fought off the infection or medicines cured the infection, you can get hepatitis C again. Follow the steps above, and talk with your doctor about how to protect yourself from another hepatitis C infection.

If you think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus, see your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent liver damage.

Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C How Can You Get It

What If I Accidentally Use My Partners Toothbrush Or Nail Clippers

Sharing personal care items that have come into contact with a persons bloodlike toothbrushes, nail clippers, and razorscan increase the chances of spreading hep C, but its not a common mode of transmission. The risk of any one single episode of that nature is going to be exceedingly low, Dr. Chung says. Its more about avoiding the behavior or habit to reduce the number of potential exposures. So while you should not purposely share these items with someone who has hep C, theres no need to freak if you accidentally slip up once or twice.

Can You Get Hepatitis From Saliva

How is Hepatitis C spread? — Mayo Clinic

People with chronic Hepatitis C are advised not to share toothbrushes, razors, nail clippers or other personal articles that may have potentially been in contact with their blood.

While there is very little emphasis on saliva as a vehicle of Hepatitis C transmission, under the right circumstances there is some evidence to the contrary:

  • As published in the September 2006 issue of Journal of Viral Hepatitis, German researchers investigated the transmission of Hepatitis C via a toothbrush. A team from the University of Regensburg examined 30 patients with Hepatitis C to see whether they had contaminated their toothbrushes with the virus. They collected saliva samples from infected patients both before and after tooth brushing. Figures showed that 30 percent of infected patients tested positive for traces of the virus in their saliva before brushing their teeth, while 38 percent tested positive in their saliva after brushing. Additionally, about 40 percent of the water used to rinse the infected toothbrushes tested positive for the virus. This information confirms the caution against toothbrush sharing, and also sounds a possible Hepatitis C transitory alarm.
  • Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Hiv And Hepatitis

    What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C

    Most people infected with hepatitis C have no symptoms. Some people with an acute hepatitis C infection may have symptoms within 1 to 3 months after they are exposed to the virus. These symptoms may include

    If you have chronic hepatitis C, you most likely will have no symptoms until complications develop, which could be decades after you were infected. For this reason, hepatitis C screening is important, even if you have no symptoms.

    Hiv And Hepatitis B In Saliva

    Hepatitis B is spread through contact with body fluids infected with the virus, such as direct contact with blood or open wounds. Therefore, it can be spread through sharing a toothbrush, but not through sharing eating utensils, kissing, coughing, or sneezing.

    Hepatitis C requires blood exposure, and is typically spread through the use of shared needles or other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs. Hepatitis A requires some form of fecal exposure , and is not spread via saliva or kissing.

    Kissing is, in general, not considered a risk factor for HIV transmission. It would only be a risk if bleeding occurred or open sores were present.

    Recommended Reading: How Do People Catch Hepatitis B

    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:

    Hcv Rna Detection In Saliva

    Hepatitis D: Definition, causes, symptoms, and treatment

    HCV-RNA was amplified using a nested reverse transcription-PCR with the two sets of primers corresponding to the 5UTR, as reported previously . Reverse transcription and the first round of PCR were performed using One-Step RT-PCR with Platinum Taq . Program parameters were 55°C for 30 min, 94°C for 2 min, and 40 cycles of 94°C for 30 sec, 56°C for 30 sec, and 72°C for 30 sec. The second round of PCR was performed using BioMix and 2 l of first-round PCR product. Thermal cycler conditions were 94°C for 2 min and 40 cycles of 94°C for 30 sec, 60°C for 30 sec, and 72°C for 30 sec. The 305 and 251 bp PCR products were analyzed with 1% agarose gel electrophoresis. This technique has a detection limit of 50 IU/ml, comparable with commercial tests used for qualitative detection of HCV genome . A fragment of the housekeeping gene cyclophilin was amplified for each sample as internal control for RNA extraction and RT/PCR reaction, using primers and conditions previously published . In all test series, known HCV negative and positive serum controls were included and the samples were managed with the same precautions during taking, transport and processing.

    Don’t Miss: Hepatitis C Antibody With Reflex To Hcv Rna

    Popular Articles
    Related news