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HEP C spreading sexually and/or from mother to baby
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HEP C spreading sexually and/or from mother to baby

Every website says something different about HEP C and it being spread sexually. I was just wondering what kind of answers I coud get here on the matter. Is HEP C spread sexually? My late husband and I were doing illegal drugs and the day he passed away (non related) I stopped....cold  turkey on my own...I learned  he had HEP B and C and I had contracted C. He had 2 kids that lived with us and when he passed they went straight to their mama kerissas and i found out i was preg 2 weeks later and I lost the baby...drs said I wouldn have cairried out of the first trimester more than likely...i had surgeries to fix everything for the time being....starting a family is really important to me....everything in my life is straightened out but i went from having a complete family to nothing. Im now in a manogamous rs....getting married...and I want a baby, but I dont want it so bad that I would chance hurting 2 of the most important ppl in my life...my fiance and an unborn baby. Every study says something different...please help
5 Comments Post a Comment


Dec 10, 2012
To: srednilf
"What are the chances that he has now been infected with the virus?"
The maximum incidence rate of HCV transmission by sex was 0.07% per year, ∼1 per 190,000 sexual contacts.
"Sexual transmission of HCV among monogamous heterosexual couples: The HCV partners study."

Terrault NA, Dodge JL, Murphy EL, Tavis JE, Kiss A, Levin TR, Gish R, Busch M, Reingold AL, Alter MJ.

University of California San Francisco, Division of Gastroenterology, 513 Parnassus Ave, S357, Box 0538, San Francisco, CA, 94143. Norah.***@****.

Hepatology. 2012 Nov 23. doi: 10.1002/hep.26164.



The efficiency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission by sexual activity remains controversial. We conducted a cross-sectional study of HCV-positive persons and their partners to estimate the risk for HCV infection among monogamous heterosexual couples.


500 anti-HCV-positive, HIV-negative index persons and their long-term heterosexual partners were studied. Couples were interviewed separately for lifetime risk factors for HCV infection, within-couple sexual practices and sharing of personal grooming items. Blood samples were tested for anti-HCV, HCV RNA, and HCV genotype and serotype. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis determined the relatedness of virus isolates among genotype-concordant couples.


HCV-positive index persons were mostly Non-Hispanic Whites, with median age 49 years (range 26-79) and median 15 years (range 2-52) of sexual activity with their partners. Overall, HCV prevalence among partners was 4% (n=20), and 9 couples had concordant genotype/serotype. Viral isolates in 3 couples (0.6%) were highly related, consistent with transmission of virus within the couple. Based upon 8377 person-years of follow-up, the maximum incidence rate of HCV transmission by sex was 0.07% per year (95% CI: 0.01, 0.13) or ∼1 per 190,000 sexual contacts. No specific sexual practices were related to HCV-positivity among couples.


The results of this study provide quantifiable risk information for counseling long-term monogamous heterosexual couples in which one partner has chronic HCV infection. In addition to the extremely low estimated risk for HCV infection in sexual partners, the lack of association with specific sexual practices provides unambiguous and reassuring counseling messages. (HEPATOLOGY 2012.).

Copyright © 2012 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

If he is still worried tell him to get tested.
According to the VA Hepatitis C Home

"If a person exposed to hepatitis C becomes infected, virus particles (called HCV RNA) can be detected within 1-2 weeks. Liver function tests also will tend to rise during this timeframe. Hepatitis C antibodies appear after RNA is detectable and can take 3-12 weeks to appear."

Good luck!



Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 May;99(5):855-9.
Lack of evidence of sexual transmission of hepatitis C among monogamous couples: results of a 10-year prospective follow-up study.

Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
The risk of sexual transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was evaluated among 895 monogamous heterosexual partners of HCV chronically infected individuals in a long-term prospective study, which provided a follow-up period of 8,060 person-years. Seven hundred and seventy-six (86.7%) spouses were followed for 10 yr, corresponding to 7,760 person-years of observation. One hundred and nineteen (13.3%) spouses (69 whose infected partners cleared the virus following treatment and 50 who ended their relationship or were lost at follow-up) contributed an additional 300 person-years. All couples denied practicing anal intercourse or sex during menstruation, as well as condom use. The average weekly rate of sexual intercourse was 1.8. Three HCV infections were observed during follow-up corresponding to an incidence rate of 0.37 per 1,000 person-years. However, the infecting HCV genotype in one spouse (2a) was different from that of the partner (1b), clearly excluding sexual transmission. The remaining two couples had concordant genotypes, but sequence analysis of the NS5b region of the HCV genome, coupled with phylogenetic analysis showed that the corresponding partners carried different viral isolates, again excluding the possibility of intraspousal transmission of HCV. Our data indicate that the risk of sexual transmission of HCV within heterosexual monogamous couples is extremely low or even null. No general recommendations for condom use seem required for individuals in monogamous partnerships with HCV-infected partners.


    Approximately 5% of pregnant women with chronic HCV infection will transmit the virus to their infants.
    Currently, there are no specific interventions known to decrease perinatal transmission.
    The primary diagnostic test for exposed infants is HCV serology performed at 12 to 18 months of age. HCV RNA performed after two months of age is a sensitive and specific, but expensive, test. Use should be considered if there is significant parental anxiety or if there is concern that the infant will be lost to follow-up.
    Approximately 25% of infected infants will clear the virus spontaneously. The other 75% generally have only mild hepatitis throughout childhood, but they require follow-up because a small percentage will develop progressive liver disease and are at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Hep C is spread via blood to blood transmission. It is rarely spread sexually but in some cases, where there is blood to blood transmission, it does occur.

Although it can be passed from mom to baby via pregnancy the statistical rates show it happens rarely.
Many of this on this forum, had babies, raised them and never knew we had hep C yet our children do not have the virus.

One important thing to be aware of when breast feeding, is to avoid feeding your baby if you have cracked nipples. Again, its the blood that is the problem.( I never had this problem. There are creams to help prevent it)

Just remember hep C lives in blood. It has to get from one person's blood stream to another to spread.
Hello, Keith and Hawk have given you excellent information.
Congratulations on doing so well after losing your family
I had two sons, raised them without knowing that I had HCV, when it was discovered they were tested and both were negative.
I understand your fear however don't let this illness define you or stop you from having children
Take care

Thanyou all for the information and encouragement, Dee. I appreciate it....I really just didnt want to make such a huge decision that effected others more than it did me with iffy information.
I am one of those people that does not know where I got HCV - no transfusions, no drug use, and diagnosed very young. The only thing is, my mother also had it, and we are both the same genotype. HCV is about blood - not sexually transmitted unless there is blood - but also transmitted during first 2-3 months of pregnancy. It's not like HIV where you can just do a Caesarean and avoid transmission.  

I am on treatment in part because I know I cannot get pregnant and risk exposing an innocent child the way I was exposed. If you clear your blood of the virus, your baby will not be at risk. Treat and clear before you get pregnant.
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