How Is Hepatitis C Treated
Treatment for hepatitis C depends on how long you have had the virus.
People with acute infection do not always need treatment because their immune system may clear hepatitis C on its own. If you test positive during the acute stage, your doctor may ask you to come back after a few months to re-test and to see if you need any treatment.
If you develop chronic infection, you will need treatment to help clear the virus. Treatment with drugs called direct-acting antivirals can cure hepatitis in most cases. These are usually taken for 8-12 weeks. Your doctor will also check your liver for any damage.
If youve had hepatitis C in the past, youre not immune to future infections which means you can get it again. You can also still get other types of hepatitis and having hepatitis C together with another type is more serious.
Whether you have symptoms or not, dont have sex until your healthcare professional says you can.
Hepatitis C : Can It Be Sexually Transmitted
DOCTOR’S VIEWS ARCHIVE
Topic: Hepatitis C, June 2000
Dr. Edward Block:Blood transfusion used to be a major risk factor. Fortunately, as a result of the increased stringency requirements, blood transfusions are no longer a major risk factor in this country. So, our viewers should know that if they should ever require a blood transfusion, they should feel fairly secure because the risk for hepatitis C exposure from blood transfusion is very small.
At this time, the principal risk for acquiring hepatitis C appears to be the use of injection drugs, primarily IV drug abuse. IV drug users comprise upwards of 40% of those who are diagnosed with new cases of hepatitis C. Other high-risk activities include other drug use . People with multiple sex partners are also considered to be at high risk .
Dr. Lee:As opposed to, let’s say, sexual transmission of Hepatitis B.
Dr. Edward Block: Yes, as opposed to hepatitis B, the risk of sexual transmission of hepatitis C is small.
There is probably some small risk of sexual transmission here and certainly it would be prudent to tell our viewers that if they are known to be hepatitis C positive and are single that they should take appropriate precautions, such as the use of condoms.
People receiving tattoos are also felt to be at risk, particularly if needles have been reused.
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Can You Pass Hepatitis C To A Sex Partner
Sex and Sexuality
Yes, but it is not likely. Compared to hepatitis B virus and the human immunodeficiency virus , it is less likely that you will spread the hepatitis C virus to your sex partner.
If you have one long-term sex partner, and one of you has hepatitis C and one of you does not, you do not need to change your sex habits at all. But, if either you or your partner is worried about the small chance of spreading the hepatitis C virus, you can use latex condoms. This will make it almost impossible to spread the virus. Long-term partners of people with hepatitis C should get tested for the virus. If the test is negative, you will probably not need to repeat it.
If you have more than one sex partner, you are more likely to spread the virus. In this case, reduce the number of sex partners you have, practice safer sex, and always use latex condoms.
There have been outbreaks of sexually transmitted HCV infection among men who have HIV and who have sex with men. It is recommended that men who have sex with men use condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted HCV and other sexually transmitted infections.
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Hepatitis C Symptoms And Treatment
Hepatitis C is part of a group of hepatitis viruses that attack the liver. It is commonly found in infected blood. It is also rarely found in semen and vaginal fluids.
The virus is usually passed on through using contaminated needles and syringes or other items with infected blood on them. It can also be passed on through unprotected sex, especially when blood is present.
It often has no noticeable symptoms. Some peoples bodies can clear the infection on their own but others may develop chronic hepatitis C and will need to take antiviral treatment to cure the infection and prevent liver damage.
- The basics
Hepatitis B And Safe Sex
“All three forms of viral hepatitis may be transmitted sexually, although hepatitis B is most commonly transmitted sexually,” explains Michael B. Fallon, MD, professor of medicine at The University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Once you have been diagnosed with hepatitis B, you should tell your partner so he or she can be tested. If your partner does not have hepatitis B, and is not already immune to hepatitis B, a vaccine is recommended.
“Sexual partners of individuals with hepatitis B should consider vaccination to prevent acquiring infections,” says Fallon. Hepatitis B immune globulin which works like an antibody, quickly fighting infection can also be given to a partner who has been exposed to your body fluids within two weeks after exposure to prevent infection. Even after your partner has been vaccinated, you should always use a condom.
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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.
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
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Tips For Safe Sex With Hepatitis
When its time, find a private place where you can talk to your partner without interruption.
Can Hcv Be Transmitted Through Sexual Activity
It is rare for hepatitis C to be transmitted through sexual contact, although not impossible. The risk of transmission is low at about 0-3%. Having a sexually transmitted disease or HIV, having sex with multiple partners, or having rough sex increases the risk a person has of acquiring hepatitis C virus through sexual contact. Practice of safer sex using latex, polyurethane , barriers for oral sex, is highly encouraged.
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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 Can You Prevent Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C
Hepatitis B: Vaccination is the best way to prevent all of the ways that hepatitis B is transmitted. People with HIV who do not have active HBV infection should be vaccinated against it. In addition to the 3-dose series of hepatitis B vaccine given over 6 months, as of 2017, there is a 2-dose series given over 1 month.
Hepatitis C: No vaccine exists for HCV and no effective pre- or postexposure prophylaxis is available. The best way to prevent hepatitis C infection is to never inject drugs or to stop injecting drugs by getting into and staying in drug treatment. If you continue injecting drugs, always use new, sterile needles or syringes, and never reuse or share needles or syringes, water, or other drug preparation equipment.
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Hepatitis C And Safe Sex
As with hepatitis B, the time to tell any sexual partner about your diagnosis is before you have sex or if you have already had sex, before you have sex again. Again, if you are having sex you need to use condoms and avoid risky sexual activity.
“In patients with hepatitis C in stable monogamous relationships, the rate of transmission appears to be in the range of 2 to 4 percent per year,” says Fallon.
Even though the chance of transmitting hepatitis C is lower if you are having sex with only one partner, you still need to be responsible and cautious. “Since there is no effective vaccine prevention is of particular importance in this group,” warns Fallon. Using condoms will decrease the risk of transmitting your hepatitis C infection to your partner.
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.
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Hepatitis Testing And Treatment
The good news for sexually active individuals in regard to hepatitis is that its possible to protect both yourself and your partner through simple means. Getting vaccinated for hepatitis A, B, and D will greatly lower the risks associated with spreading hepatitis through sexual contact. Furthermore, seeking out regular STD tests particularly when you begin seeing a new partner can help you stay on top of your sexual wellness and mitigate the effects of many STD-related issues.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
Many people with hepatitis C don’t have any symptoms, especially during the first 6 months.
The hepatitis C infection can go through two stages: acute and chronic. In the early acute stage, these symptoms can include:
flu-like symptoms, tiredness, high temperature and aches and pains
loss of appetite
yellowing of the eyes and skin .
For some people the infection will clear without treatment.
In most cases an acute infection will develop into long-term chronic infection. Chronic infection may not become apparent for a number of years until the liver displays signs of damage.
Symptoms vary but some of the most common include:
problems with short-term memory, concentration and completing complex mental tasks
depression or anxiety
nausea, vomiting or tummy pain
joint and muscle pain.
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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.
Cmo Se Diagnostica La Hepatitis C
La hepatitis C puede ser diagnosticada por su proveedor de cuidado de la salud a través de un análisis de sangre. La Asociación recomienda la prueba para cualquier persona que se ha inyectado drogas ilegales, recibido productos sanguíneos antes de 1992, o ha tenido relaciones sexuales con alguien que ha utilizado drogas intravenosas.
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Dr. Daniel Fierer, an infectious-diseases expert at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his colleagues first observed two cases of HCV that they believed to be caused by sexual transmission in late 2005. They requested referrals of similar patients.
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What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis
Each type of hepatitis is treated differently.
Hepatitis A often goes away on its own and home treatment is all that is needed to help the liver recover, such as:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Avoiding certain medicines that can be harmful to the liver
Hepatitis B often goes away on its own in about 6 months, and can also be treated at home with the above remedies. Other treatments for hepatitis B include:
- Antiviral medications
- Liver transplant in severe cases
Treatment for hepatitis C is effective on certain forms of the hepatitis C virus. The choice of medications depends on the type of hepatitis C you have, whether you have been treated for the illness before, how much liver damage has occurred, any other underlying medical issues, and other medicines you take. Treatment for hepatitis C usually involves 8 to 12 weeks of oral antiviral medications, such as:
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What Can I Do If I Think I Have Hepatitis C
A doctor or sexual health clinician can test you to see if you have hepatitis C. If you do, effective treatment with fewer side effects than the older medicine is available and you can discuss how to avoid infecting your sexual partners or people you live with.
It can take three to six months before the blood test for hepatitis C will be able to detect signs of infection in your blood. For people with HIV who may be immunocompromised, the antibody may not be detectable and it may be necessary to request an RNA test which detects the virus.
How Is Hepatitis C Transmitted
Esta enfermedad se transmite por intercambio microscópico de sangre infectada. La transmisión más común ocurre en V.I. uso de drogas.Hepatitis C puede ser transmitida por cualquiera de las siguientes:
- La actividad sexual que incluye el coito anal o vaginal
- Intravenosa el consumo de drogas
- Aunque es raro, la madre al bebé durante el parto
- La exposición a sangre infectada
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.
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