Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Can Hepatitis C Be Transmitted Sexually

Can You Pass Hepatitis C Through Other Types Of Sexual Contact Such As Oral And Anal Sex

How Is Hepatitis Transmitted?

Sex and Sexuality

There is no proof that anyone has ever spread the virus through oral sex, although it may be possible. Anal sex may damage the lining of the rectum and make it easier to pass the virus through the blood.

Using condoms will help prevent spreading the hepatitis C virus and will also protect you against other sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis B.

You cannot spread the hepatitis C virus through other types of contact, such as hugging or kissing someone on the cheek.

What Are The Odds Of Contracting Hep C Sexually

The odds are pretty low. But your risk level depends on your situation.

One 2012 study on 500 straight, monogamous couples found that the rate of hep C transmission through sex was just 0.07 percent per year.

The CDC and WHO both point out that men who have sex with other men may have a higher risk of contracting hep C, but neither have exact data on the odds.

Basically, if you have anal or rough sex, sex with people who use or misuse intravenous substances, or if you have multiple partners, your chances of contracting hep C may go up. The chances are still low, but with all the other STIs out there, its a good idea to have sex with a barrier method.

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.

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Whos At Risk For Hepatitis C

You might be more likely to get it if you:

  • Inject or have injected street drugs
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965
  • Got clotting factor concentrates made before 1987
  • Received a blood transfusion or solid organ transplants before July 1992
  • Got blood or organs from a donor who tested positive for hepatitis C
  • Are on dialysis

Hiv And Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Coinfection

How is hepatitis C transmitted?

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by a virus. Because these infections can be spread in the same ways as HIV, people with HIV in the United States are often also affected by chronic viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis progresses faster and causes more liver-related health problems among people with HIV than among those who do not have HIV. Liver disease, much of which is related to HBV or HCV, is a major cause of non-AIDS-related deaths among people with HIV.

Given the risks of hepatitis B or hepatitis C coinfection to the health of people living with HIV, it is important to understand these risks, take steps to prevent infection, know your status, and, if necessary, get medical care from someone who is experienced in treating people who are coinfected with HIV and HBV, or HIV and HCV.

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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.

How To Prevent Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by a virus . It can be serious and theres no cure, but the good news is its easy to prevent. You can protect yourself by getting the hepatitis B vaccine and having safer sex. If you have oral, anal, and vaginal sex, use condoms and dental dams to help stop the spread of hepatitis B and other STDs.

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General Tips For Prevention

Refrain from engaging in IV drug use and be cautious with all procedures that involve needles.

For example, you shouldnt share needles used for tattooing, piercing, or acupuncture. The equipment should always be carefully sterilized for safety. If youre undergoing any of these procedures in another country, always make sure the equipment is sterilized.

Sterile equipment should also be used in a medical or dental setting.

What To Know About Hepatitis C During Oral And Anal Sex

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

Oral sex does not pose an increased risk of transmitting the hepatitis C virus, according to the American Liver Foundation, unless there are open sores or cuts in the mouth. To be safe, however, the CDC recommends using a new latex condom whenever you have oral sex to reduce the risk of transmitting hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections like HIV.

Anal sex is high-risk, though, because rectal tissue is fragile and can easily tear when manipulated or pushed to expand. If the tissue tears and bleeds, theres a chance for blood-to-blood contact. For this reason, its best to always use a condom during anal sex. Its also important to liberally apply water- or silicone-based lubricant to keep anal tissue and condoms from tearing.

If you use sex toys, it may be safest to avoid sharing them. If youre engaging in rough sex that results in skin tears, even tiny traces of infected blood that remain on a toy can pass through openings in the skin although the risk of spreading bloodborne diseases remains very low. Whats more, the human papilloma virus has been transmitted via sex toys, even after cleaning.

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How Can I Protect Myself And Others

  • 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.

Enteric Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis A And Hepatitis E

The Hepatitis A and hepatitis E viruses are both transmitted by enteric, that is digestive or by fecal, routes. This is also known as the fecal-oral route. To be exposed to these viruses, you must ingest fecal matter that is infected with the virus. While there are several ways in which this fecal-oral route can be established, poor hygiene and poor sanitary conditions in some countries lead to higher rates of infection of these viruses.

As a result, some areas of the world, like India, Bangladesh, and Central and South America, are particularly prone to the hepatitis E virus. About one-third of people in the United States have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus.

It is believed that the hepatitis F virus may also be spread by enteric routes.

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Hepatitis C : Can It Be Sexually Transmitted

DOCTOR’S VIEWS ARCHIVE

Topic: Hepatitis C, June 2000

Dr. Lee:Who are at increased risk of getting hepatitis C? Can hepatitis C be transmitted sexually?

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.

Back to Doctors’ Dialogue Index

Parenteral Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis B Hepatitis D And Hepatitis C

Ask the Experts: Can HCV be Transmitted Through Sex?

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. Let’s look at the possible transmission routes for each of these types of hepatitis virus more closely.

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How Do You Treat Hepatitis C

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 people develop chronic infection, they will need treatment to help clear the virus. Where available, 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.

If youve already had hepatitis C, its advisable to have the vaccination against hepatitis A and B to protect your liver from further damage.

Whether you have symptoms or not, dont have sex until your healthcare professional says you can.

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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Blood Transfusion/receipt Of Blood Products

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.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Hepatitis C From Sex

Hepatitis-C epidemic in Clermont County

Hepatitis C can spread through sexual intercourse, but it’s rare. And it’s extremely rare among monogamous couples. In fact, the CDC considers the risk of sexual transmission between monogamous couples so low that it doesn’t even recommend using condoms. Also, there’s no evidence that hepatitis C is spread by oral sex. But you should avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes, and nail clippers, and sex during menstruation.

If you have HIV or if you have multiple partners, you should take precautions. Using condoms will protect you and your partners.

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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.

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.

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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.

What Is Hepatitis

Symptoms and warning signs of Hepatitis C

Hepatitis is an infection and inflammation of the liver, an organ located on the upper right side of the abdomen.

There are several types of infectious hepatitis, caused by different viruses. They can cause similar symptoms but can affect the liver in different ways. The three main viral types are:

  • Hepatitis A: This is a short-term infection and most patients recover without treatment within about 2 months. It can be prevented with a vaccine.
  • Hepatitis B: This can cause acute or chronic infection. Most patients recover within 6 months but some patients develop a long-term infection that can result in liver damage. It can be prevented with a vaccine.
  • Hepatitis C: This can cause acute or chronic infection that can lead to liver damage and severe scarring of the liver and an increased risk of liver cancer. There’s no vaccine to prevent it.

Other types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis D, which only develops in people who have hepatitis B, and hepatitis E, which is more common in parts of the developing world where there is poor sanitation.

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