Please if anyone has any advice I'd truly appreciate it.
I had unprotected sex in early April and contracted chlamydia. I've been tested thoroughly for all STD's including HBV and HCV.
Everything was tested to 3 months except for HBV and HCV- I tested these at the 8 week mark.
They tested me for the Hepatitis B surface antigen and that came back negative, and tested me for Hepatitis C anti-body and that was negative as well at 2 months. Are these conclusive?
I've been having the following symptoms:
Itchy right palm
Other than that, I feel fine. Is it possible that I contracted Hepatitis from my exposure. The itching is only on my palm, is itching associated with Hepatitis more systematic. Please anyone, I'm very worried.. I have an appt with an internist next week! Thank You.
Thank you for your quick response, I've just been reading all this stuff on the net stating that Hep C CAN be transmitted sexually. I was treated for chlamydia in early may. My tests came back negative for Hep B surface antigen and Hep C antibody at 2 months.
Literature that you read about Hep C does say that it is possible that it can be sexually transmitted, but very rarely, a very low %. I certainly wouldn't be worried about it. But, you do need to have a Hepatatic Panel done,(blood test). This is not on a regular blood test sheet, so be sure to ask for it. I wish you the best!
Scared - just so you can get what we mean by sexual transmission... I had HCV for many years, was pregnant with my daughter --- had wild sex during every time of the month with hubby.... gave birth to my daughter ---- and neither of them have it.
It can happen --- if both parties are openly bleeding. HCV is a BLOOD TO BLOOD disease. Not a bodily fluid (like semen or female lubrication, saliva) transmissable disease. It has to be infected blood going into blood.
So yeah --- there is a risk of transmission through sex... If you're doing things that could cause bleeding and both of you are bleeding.
And I'm an avid believer in HEP panel tests annually.
Although the Center for Disease Control doesn’t regard Hep C as a STD, you’re right; it can be transmitted via unprotected sex. What’s important is to remember that sex is not considered an efficient mode of transmission. I was married for almost 20 years, and neither my wife or children contracted this from me (despite our best efforts, lol!). My experience is not an isolated incident… most of the forum members here essentially report the same story.
This is a blood to blood vectored disease, so we’re told. If you did contract it through consensual sex, it would be rare. 2 months is probably sufficient for antibodies to develop; for peace of mind, get checked again at six months to put this to bed.
Oh, and get vaccinated for Hep A and B! I’ll save you the lecture about making sure he keeps a sock on it from now on… it sounds like you’ve learned the lesson!
Meki- I put lotion on my palm every evening… works like a charm ;o)
Wow, you guys are great. I'm so glad to get a lot of feedback. Yet I just want this one question to be answered please!
Is Itchy palm (one palm) an indication of Hep C?
I have been vaccinated in 1993 (I was 8yrs old). I'm guessing my system is still protected :)
I need to get vaccinated for Hep A though. Also, what is a Hep Panel? Didn't I do that? I'm sorta confused!
There is for HEPB and HEPA --- please go get those --- if you haven't had them --- or if you cannot remember if you've had them.
A hep panel is a a blood screen for hepatitis reactions... Tells if the Hepatitis virus is in your body --- which "brand" it might be. You probably had that to be told you don't have hepatitis.
Itchy palm --- not really - check for hydration levels (drink lots of water and juices)... Could be athletes foot --- scabies --- just dry skin --- no moisturizer... a zillion things. Eliminate each thing... Could be the cleaning cloths you use --- an allergic reaction... is it your dominant hand? What does it touch? Do you put soap on that hand more so than others? Are you touching things that could cause a reaction with just that hand?
Are you absently rubbing your hand against anything at times (my friend strokes her couch continuously when she talks --- and sometimes gets 'a' reddened palm) or things like that?
When you walk down a hallway do you linger your hand on things?
Do you have communal stairs where everyone touches the bannister? Consider cleaning that bannister daily with a bleach clorox cloth diluted down...
Buttons on elevators --- everything that is communally touched. etc.
Severe itching (intractable pruritus) can be a sign of advanced liver disease (i.e. many years of infection). It’s also widespread, and not confined to the hands. I’d probably attribute this to stress in your case. Ghost stools, stool that is very light grey, or light yellow can also be a sign of acute HCV. None of these symptoms would lead a doctor to believe you contracted HCV, in my opinion.
Ask your doctor about vaccinations. We really don’t know how long the HBV vaccine lasts- so far it last 15-20 years… as long as it’s been available. If in doubt, ask for a Twinrix series- better safe than sorry.
The Hep panel is the HAV, HBV, and HCV test you’ve already had. I believe the suggestion was to get another test just to give you complete confidence.
Yes I've been vaccinated for Hep B when I was younger. And the right palm is the one itching me and yes I use this hand as my dominant hand. It's just so weird, there's nothing on my palm but it's been itching me for the last week driving me crazy, it feels more like an internal itch.
I drink plenty of water and can't think of anything I'm touching that I have an allergic reaction to. I hope it'll go away with time, I'm praying, I start school on Wednesday!!!
Can I really put Hepatitis out of my head? I feel like when I'm done with one virus another one starts :(
I thought Ghost stools were the ones that you know should be there...
You did all that work... and you heard it go "plunk" ---- and you got the splashback of water ----
But when you looked... there was an empty bowl...
You're welcome scared - we all go through that --- wipe down your mouse OK?
And try some gold bond --- or some hydrocortisone cream (don't laugh --- but anusol has a good one... and you could try benedryl cream also --- that might help). If it doesn't go away - though... go get it checked. Could be something super simple. Or just stress.
I know for sure my stool is not ghostly looking or gray. Its a mixture of yellow and light brown. I've been dieting and losing a lot of weight lately so I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. I certainly plan on getting tested in late Oct or Nov just for peace of mind, but I want to take it out of my head that my symptoms are due to acute HCV infection.
Itchy palms can be a sign of anything from using the wrong laundry detergent, to probs with your gall bladder (rarely) to poison ivy. In other words, itchy skin in general is a catch all symptom that can denote tons of things, most of them very benign. In general, it's said that hepC doesn't spread very easily sexually, however, as with almost any disease that is able to be transmitted sexually, male to female transmission occurs more easily than female to male (because women have a large amount of mucous membrane inside that is more easily abraded during sex, allowing for blood contact). I'm going to respectfully disagree that only 1% of people do get it sexually since there is a notable percentage of people who do not have other risk factors who seem to get it somehow and the etiology is unknown.
Anyway, two months out is a pretty good indication you are clear of hepatitis so I would not keep worrying about hepatitis. And I could be wrong but I thought the hep vaccine, even in 93, covered A and B? Does anyone else know? Maybe you could check your earlier vaccinations before re-doing them, if you have access to your old files. It wouldn't hurt you to run another hep panel in two or three months but you can be 99.9% sure it is going to come out fine. A hep panel tests for A, B and C. Actually, to be more precise, it tests for 'Hep A Ab, IgM' and 'HBsAg Screen' and 'Hep B Core Ab, IgM' and 'Hep C Virus Ab.' That's why they call it a Hep (4) panel. And all of that? Is about exactly as much as I know about anything, so I'm going to shut up now :)
I don't remember there being any blood present and I guess since it was a one time exposure my chances are a lot lower. Who else on this forum claims that they contracted the virus sexually?
This palm is just driving me crazy, I'm trying all the creams and it's been a month. I even went to a dermo and she said that it looked like a blocked sweat gland but it shouldn't be lasting this long :(
A two month neg for hep b and c puts you in safe territory, ecpecially for hep b. The cdc says the window period for B is 1 to nine weeks with 4 weeks the average. Hep C has a window period of 2 weeks to 26 weeks with a 50 day average so you have rounded second and are coming into third base. If I were you, I would get one more test at 6 months, and then stop testing and worrying. I have a feeling you will be neg.
Fyi, Hep B is much more likely to be transmitted through sexual activity than hep c.
Jakied- My gut is telling me that I don't have HCV, I've never had anal sex or any sex that would cause any bleeding. I've been reading around also and have seen that if a person does have itching from Hepatitis, its usually ALL OVER and not just in one area like mine (palm).
Chances are if a person is multi partnered frequently - the chances are greater of sexually transmitted diseases.
No - and yes --- chances are greater that he could have HCV... However not really. HCV is not really transmitted sexually - unless both partners are bleeding.
And yeah - if someone has multi partners - unprotected - yeah --- it could happen.. the roulette wheel might fall --- and yeah - you could be bleeding...
But you're talking less than 2% chance or something like that.
They're talking stats and PP usually deals with massively infected folks.
Remember a lot of people being diagnosed can't figure out where they got it... (I have YET to meet someone who ONLY had sex ---- and no other risk factors: Any surgery, any dental work - any innoculations) so don't be too freaked out - OK?
A couple who has unprotected sex together for 20 years has only a 5% chance of getting spreading hepatitis C if the man is infected. It is not spread from females at all, only by males. Good luck to you.
Grandma A- What scares me the most is that he told me his father died from dialysis which makes me think maybe his father had Hepatitis. It was one time and I didn't see any blood during or after and it lasted no longer than 10mins without any ejaculation.
Meki- I'm going to try the rubbing alcohol method..really hope it works =/
I'm going to stop freaking out. I really need to. I think my stress is a big factor in my itching as well. That's what everyone is telling me. I got tested for hepatitis 2yrs ago and was in the clear for everything. This has been my first exposure since, so I know I can't have chronic Hepatitis. My 2 month antibody test are what's keeping me sane right now.
ok, so the itching didn't go away. Went back to the dermo, she said that it could be my liver enzymes :(
She suspects Hep C but I don't understand why. I told her I had a negative antibody test at 2 months. Really scared now...
She said that you can easily get Hep C from sex, that it's in blood and body fluids.
first, i believe there is no reason for you to be scared. Yes, there can be a medical issue , but be aware, that if you keep cool and do the right things now, then all will be well.
So, if your doc thinks your symptoms are indicative of liver problems/hepatitis, i would recommend to:
- monitor liver enzymes, bilirubin, platelets, wbc (e.g. every 2 months, for one year). Any virus should be visible on this picture
- repeat Hep B and C antibody tests at 12 months post exposure (to be sure)
- if your physician REALLY thinks you have Hep C, then she might want to order a PCR right away, same could be done for Hep B (although most would think it's not really indicated, but on the other hand, other than the costs there is no real risk associated to this test)
In case any of the tests show the slightest trouble OR your symptoms persist, you should see a hepatologist or gastroenterologist for long term follow up. (e.g. see him now, and then every 4 months for follow up, for one year).
in other words, make sure you are in good, competent hands. Don't let doctors talk you into something you do not have, but on the other hand, don't let them discount your worries.
if you do this, you have nothing to worry about: because if something is found, it will be found very early and can be treated very effectively, and if nothing is found under tight supervision of a competentn physician, then the danger of being in "false security" are nearly zero.
[[ Why do i write this so extensively? Because i wish somebody would have told me that. (but that's a story for a totally different thread) ]]
My only exposure was one unprotected sex encounter, my dermo said that Hep C is transmitted in blood and body fluids but i've been reading otherwise. I'm so concerned. Right now, my symptom is my itchy palm and that's it. Is that enough grounds to say that I can potentially have Hep C? I have a negative HCV antibody test at 2 months. Please anyone comments?
to be honest, i think your statistical HCV risk is really extremely low (probably well below 0.1%, even if the other person was infected! (*). And indeed, i share your doubt about your doc's remarks: HCV may be in "body fluids", but not in the required amount to cause an infection. It's really a classical blood borne disease. You need to have small wounds, direct blood contact, etc.
And i would not consider an itchy palm indicative for HCV (or any other pathology i am aware of)
However, i am not a medical doctor, and the comment about liver enzymes of your physician (who, in the end, is a medical doctor) raised my suspision.
So, i think this would be a starting point to get some closure on the issue: it is very easy to find out if your liver enzymes are ok or not. A cheap blood test. BTW, If a nurse suffers a needle stick exposure, they usually monitor the liver encymes every couple of months for a year. After that year, the final antibody test is done, and then one can forget it. (that's why i mentioned the idea in the previous post)
However, i understand, that this is probably too extreme for your case (needle stick cannot be compared to intercourse in terms of risk).
So, perhaps just get a single blood test, to see what is behind the statement of your doctor (about enzymes), and if that's fine, just do the Hep B/Hep C antibody tests at one year. (That's the time needed for 100% sure results - a PCR can give a 99% accurate "preview" already right now)
But, personally i am convinced that your problems are not from hepatitic C. The odds are incredibly much in your favor that you are not infected by neither.
But there is a difference between "reckoning" and "knowing", hence the testing, especially the follow up testing at 1 year. However, don't worry. Your symptoms do not sound concerning at all. So, i hope you will manage NOT to worry, and NOT spend the next months in worry!! It would be wasted time :-)
(*) i use the <0.1% figure because HCV is more difficult to transmit sexually than HIV, and HIV has a per-exposure risk of <0.1 (see http://www.dcp2.org/pubs/DCP/18/Table/18.2)
one more thing, it is indeed very encouraging that your 2 month test is negative. Actually, most people who get infected will test positive witin 6 weeks. However, not all, that's why re-testing at 6 months or 12 months is recommended.
12 months is extremely conservative, of course, and will probably only apply to people whose risk was very high (exposure to somebody who is HCV+, or high risk exposure like needle stick) or who had indicative hepatitis symptoms (not itching palm)
- all of it does not apply to you, so you can already be very comfortable with your 8 weeks tests. All testing you may or may not do in the next months, are surely primarily recommended for peace of mind, not really a necessity. (And in terms of hepatitis/STDs, peace of mind is indeed good to have.)
The odds were slim to none to begin with on a single incident of unprotected sex. What's more you tested negative at two months post treatment. Unless you have highly elevated liver enzymes or something else liver related, I think you're worrying needlessly. Itching palms mean nothing other than you are probably more aware of everything going on in your body now that your dermatologist mentioned Hep C. BTW dermatologists know as much about Hep C as liver specialists know about zits. Nothing.
Ughhhh this sux.. and now I have to wait a week for the results :(
This whole situation is horrible cuz I got chlamydia from a ONE TIME EXPOSURE... so I feel like i got everything else with it..Does it increase my chance of getting HCV if he had chlamydia?
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