Kissing And Risk Of Hepatitis: Should You Be Worried
Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.
Its been said that when you kiss someone, you kiss everyone that person has kissed before. Ill leave it to doctors to debate the truth of that claim, but a point worth noting is that sometimes kissing can be very intimate and, unfortunately, an opportunity to spread infection. Is viral hepatitis one of those infections?
Is Hepatitis B Contagious
- semen, or
- any other body fluid from the infected person.
Moreover, hepatitis B can be transferred through sexual contact, sharing needles, or from mother to baby at the time of birth.
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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Immunostaining For Hbv Surface Antigen And Hbv Core Antigen
Immunostaining for HBsAg and HBcAg was performed on frozen sections, using the Ventana i VIEW DAB detection kit and the Dako Envision kit , respectively. Primary monoclonal antibodies to HBsAg , at a 1:100 dilution, and polyclonal antibodies to HBcAg , at a 1:500 dilution, were used. Liver tissue was taken from mice after they were euthanized, and the tissue was stored at 80°C.
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Contaminated Needles And Infected Blood
You can get hepatitis C from sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment during recreational drug use. Banknotes and straws used for snorting may also pass the virus on.
Being exposed to unsterilised tattoo and body piercing equipment can also pass hepatitis C on. Occasionally, you can get it from sharing a towel, razor blades or a toothbrush if there is infected blood on them.
Hepatitis C infection is also passed on in healthcare settings, from needle stick injuries or from medical and dental equipment that has not been properly sterilised. In countries where blood products are not routinely screened, you can also get hepatitis C by receiving a transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.
You can prevent hepatitis C by:
- never sharing needles and syringes or other items that may be contaminated with infected blood
- only having tattoos, body piercings or acupuncture in a professional setting, where new, sterile needles are used
- following the standard infection control precautions, if youre working in a healthcare setting.
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How Is Hepatitis C Spread
Hepatitis C is spread person-to-person usually by direct contact with another person’s blood who is infected with hepatitis C virus. Individuals that share needles are at a high risk to become infected. Surgical and other instruments that are not properly decontaminated can also spread hepatitis C to others. Moreover, some patients that receive organ transplants from individuals that have the virus, but no symptoms, can transmit the disease to the organ transplant recipient.
How Are Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Spread From Person To Person
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.
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How Is Hepatitis A Spread
The hepatitis A virus is usually spread by putting something in your mouth that is contaminated with the virus. The virus is found in the stool of people with hepatitis A and is spread when someone’s stool accidentally contaminates food or water. This can happen when an infected person does not adequately wash their hands after using the bathroom then touches other things such as food. When other people eat that food, they can get infected with hepatitis A. Usually the transmission is between people in very close personal contact.
Foods themselves can be contaminated with hepatitis A virus, such as raw oysters harvested from sewage-contaminated water. When people eat food contaminated with hepatitis A virus, they can get infected with the virus.
Hepatitis A is usually spread through:
- household contact with an infected person
- sexual contact with an infected person
- eating or drinking contaminated food or water
- sharing eating utensils that are contaminated
- touching contaminated surfaces and then placing your hands near or in the mouth
How Hepatitis C Can Spread
Hepatitis C spreads through contact with blood from a person with an HCV infection. The most common cause of hepatitis C is from sharing needles with an infected person. The infection also can be passed through unsterilized tattoo needles. Mothers can transmit the virus to their babies at birth, but not through breastfeeding.
Although chances are low, the infection can be spread through contact with fresh or dried blood. When cleaning stray blood, wear rubber gloves and use a of 1 part household bleach to 10 parts water.
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Is It Safe To Be Around Someone With Hepatitis B
Who should be tested for Hepatitis B? Anyone who lives with or is close to someone who has been diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis B should get tested. Hepatitis B can be a serious illness, and the virus can be spread from an infected person to other family and household members, caregivers, and sexual partners.
Overview Of Viral Infections
There is no single infectious route used by all viruses. Human viral infection and transmission can occur through multiple paths, such as fecaloral, ingestion of contaminated food and drinks, sexual contact, exposure to infected blood, exchange of saliva or by aerosols generated by sneezing or coughing. Common examples of viruses isolated from the oral cavity include rotavirus, norovirus, HIV, hepatitis C virus, herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2, EpsteinBarr virus and influenza viruses.
As a result of new vaccines and vaccination policies, and also improved medical care and development of novel drugs, worldwide infectious disease fatalities have not increased in the past two decades. However, a significant decrease worldwide can be expected only when the equivalent of western world resources become available in resourcepoor areas. The global approach to eradicate polio is another example, with currently up to 80% of the world’s population living in poliofree regions and a collaborative strategic endgame plan in place to eradicate the last reservoirs of polio . The list of viral infections and viral diseases is extensive and the eradication of one pathogen may provide a niche for another pathogen to become more virulent. Naturally acquired immunity through exposure to the pathogen is likely to provide the best protection against recurring infection.
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What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis B
Prevention is recommended by receiving a vaccine for HBV.
Receiving an injection of the hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help prevent the development of the disease.
At present, there is no specific treatment for patients with acute hepatitis B. Acute infection is usually short and will often resolve on its own. Your health care provider may recommend rest, and adequate nutrition and fluids to help your body fight the infection. Hospitalization may be required for patients who suffer from severe vomiting and who are unable to maintain adequate nutritional levels. It may also be required to prevent the development of complications.
While chronic infection cannot be cured, there are two standard treatments in Canada that may control the virus and prevent further damage to the liver.
- Antiviral medications can fight the virus and slow damage to the liver.
- Interferon which may be given for short periods and if effective, results in suppression of the virus.
If Youve Got Hep C Spitting Can Be A Felony
By Michelle AndrewsJune 19, 2018
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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.
Ways That Hcv Can Be Transmitted
- Injecting, smoking or snorting drugs with shared, unsterilised equipment.
- Tattooing or piercing when needles, ink, inkwells and other equipment are shared.
- Medical or dental procedures with unsterilised equipment, including kidney dialysis.
- Needlestick accidents to health workers.
- Sharing items that may contain blood, such as razors, toothbrushes, nail scissors and nail files.
- To a baby during pregnancy, labour or at birth.
- From a blood transfusion or blood products before blood screening. This risk is now virtually zero in the UK, Western Europe and the US. However, up to 90% of people with haemophilia who were treated with clotting factors before 1985 were infected with both HIV and HCV.
In some countries, infections still occur from reused, unsterilised equipment or blood transfusions if blood is not screened thoroughly.
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How Do Doctors Treat The Complications Of Hepatitis C
If hepatitis C leads to cirrhosis, you should see a doctor who specializes in liver diseases. Doctors can treat the health problems related to cirrhosis with medicines, surgery, and other medical procedures. If you have cirrhosis, you have an increased chance of liver cancer. Your doctor may order an ultrasound test to check for liver cancer.
If hepatitis C leads to liver failure or liver cancer, you may need a liver transplant.
Sharing Toothbrushes Scissors And Razors
There’s a potential risk that hepatitis C may be passed on through sharing items such as toothbrushes, razors and scissors, as they can become contaminated with infected blood.
Equipment used by hairdressers, such as scissors and clippers, can pose a risk if it has been contaminated with infected blood and not sterilised or cleaned between customers. However, most salons operate to high standards, so this risk is low.
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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 Will I Know If An Individual Is Cured Of Hepatitis B
Not all patients with hepatitis B require treatment, which is generally used in more advanced disease. There are multiple anti-viral agents currently available that are effective in controlling the infection. Your physician will determine if you are a candidate for treatment, and if so, with which agent. Although a commercially available drug is not yet available to cure hepatitis B, researchers in Australia are currently studying an anticancer drug, birinapant. The drug is in clinical trials to determine its potential ability to cure hepatitis B.
Individuals that get infected with HBV and do not remain chronically infected can become HBsAg-negative about 15 weeks after onset of symptoms. However, patients are advised to consult their physician to interpret the results of HBV blood tests. The majority of adults recover from hepatitis B after several months they become non-contagious and are considered to be cured. Unfortunately, about 2% of adults and more than 90% of children under age 1 do not clear the infection and develop chronic hepatitis B infection. For this reason, HBV vaccine is urged for all infants and for individuals that are exposed to hepatitis B and have not been vaccinated.
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.
What Occupations Have Increased Risk Of Hepatitis B
In general, occupational groups with increased risk include:
- Health-care workers repeatedly exposed to blood or blood products or those who are at risk of needlestick injury.
- Pathologists, laboratory personnel, or embalmers.
- Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists.
- Certain staff members of institutions for the developmentally handicapped.
- Staff of institutions where workers may be exposed to aggressive, biting residents.
Travellers to regions with intermediate or high rates of endemic HBV infection may also consider being vaccinated.
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Hcv Rna Detection In Saliva
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.