My husband has recently been diagnosed with cancer and his blood tests were positive for hepatitis C. We have been married for 35 years and I am so scared. I am not high risk, ie, no transfusions, no drug use, no multiple partners. However, the doctors have told me that it is spread through sexual contact. I am too scared to even get tested. I am so disappointed at having lived my life so clean and pure and now I'm being told that I am probably positive for this disease regardless of my actions.
I do understand your feelings, but you are probably NOT infected. HCV can be transmitted sexually but only under pretty uncommon circumstances - both partners would have to be bleeding. It is only transmitted blood-to-blood. I had HCV for many years before being diagnosed and during that time my husband and I had a lot of sex with no precautions, not even regarding menstrual blood. He tested negative, and my hepatologist said this was what he expected. He had just completed a very large study which showed extremely low rates of transmission in married partners, so low as to be essentially non-existent. He told us it was unnecessary to take any precautions with sex, although we do now exercise caution with sharing razors or toothbrushes. A large number of members here have had similar experiences with spouses, and even with giving birth to children without passing the infection.
The other reason you might not have to worry is that if your husband only had a test for HCV antibodies (usually the first test), he may not actually have the virus. Between 15-20% of people who get infected by the virus are able to fight it off with their own immune systems early on in the infection. They will always test positive for antibodies but will not have the virus itself. To confirm the test it should be followed up by an HCV PCR test, which doesn't look for antibodies, but looks for the actual viral RNA. You can learn a lot more about this at http://hcvadvocate.org/
Having hcv often has nothing to do with living a 'clean' life. Many here have gotten it through ill-sterlized medical or dental tools and other various ways. This is why they advise ALL baby boomers get tested (not just the unclean drug addicts and sex addicts born during this time period).
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