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Risk of getting hep c when sharing straws?
I recently shared a cocaine straw with someone who I believe is infected with hep c. What are the chances that it could be passed to me? Is the risk high or low? How soon can I get tested? It suddenly occured to me that it could be passed that way and now I'm completely freaked out! Would you have to be sharing numerous times to get it or just a couple? I'm greatful for any information.
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I don't know how soon you can test. But, If someone knows they have hepc, they have been told that is their responsibilty to let friends, family, etc know so they can be aware and educated as to the ways it is passed. If you KNOW that this person has it, I mean KNOW...well . Anyway don't be freaked. Deal with it and don't let the guilt trip creep into your life. It ain't healthy and it's damn sure detracting
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108191 tn?1199603505
Totally freaked - I would say the same as Beagle said, wait a few months and then  get tested.  If it is caught early enough you have a great chance to beat the hep c, that is, if you have it.

Foreseegood - I also believe I got Hep C from sharing straws.  Even shared a straw with someone who was sick with Hep A and B, and probably C.  Yep, being young and stupid.  I also never touched it after 1980.

Merilee
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I think the last thing you should worry about is Hep-c cocain is very addicting. It not only hurts your mind and body in ways you can't see but what if you or your friends get in a car and drive down the road high and crash into someone? what if it's a mother and her children and you kill them?  Just this summer on the L.I.E. a man high on coke and a little alcohol crashed into a car killing the driver and a 9 yr old girl. The mother who was also in the car, was walking around after the accident looking for her little girl, found her and walked over to her, picked up her head to see if she was o.k. just to realize that it was only her daughters head. Can you imagine what that guy who was just "partying" has done to so many lifes?
Hep-c is not some thing you should be worrying about right now in your life.
  This is not the 60's  70's or the 80's   everything today is more connected and theres no more room for the errors that used to go by un-noticed.  If you don't care for yourself then thing for what your actions may do to others. Dig it?
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Well let me spell it out.

Shared straws while using cocaine is a very high risk of passing the virus.
First, cocaine irritates the nasal passages into bleeding enough without there already being bloody buggers in there without cocaine usage.
Secondly, a virus infected person sticks the straw into their irritated nostril and passes "it" and the mirror to the next person whom sticks the straw into their nostril and sucks it just as hard as they can to get the cocaine and "what ever" else comes with the straw into their blood stream.
It does not have to be a lot of blood. It can be microscopic.

A cocaine needle user once stated they always used a fresh needle. What about the bath tub the drug was made up in? It was not an FDA certified lab I assure you.  

Straw, dollar bill, glass tube, anything. Even a dipping spoon is a possibility.

If it was that difficult to spread or catch we would not be here.
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I dont know for sure how hard it is to catch via straw.  There would have to be 'blood to blood' contact.  Although this is the case I have given birth to 2 kids while I have had the virus.  First one I didnt even know that I had it and breast fed and had natural birth and she didnt get it.  Second child I had an emergency C section due to haemorraging (spelling not correct I know!!) and she didnt catch it either.  From what I understand though about 6% of kids born to mums with hep c catch it.   I agree with oldbaldguy...get tested, try not to freak too much (although easier said than done).
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132578 tn?1189759437
Whats the big deal , just ask for two straws at the drive through. duuuh.:)
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I would give it a few months and then get tested to see if you caught the virus.  I do know that sharing a cocaine straw is high on the list of getting HCV, so do get your self checked out.  Hope this helps.

Beagle
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92903 tn?1309908311
Can happen, and in fact, I expect that's how I picked up my little hitch-hiking buddy. Still, I don't think it's a common vector. I'd guess you have very little to worry about. Try to relax. You can also pick up this bug at a dentist or a nail salon. That doesn't mean everyone who has gone to one of those places should freak out. And neither should you. Have a beer and clean the garage or something........
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86075 tn?1238118691
not to sound like Carrie Nation, but I'd be more afraid of the blow...never forget sittin around snortin at some guy's party, what, early 80s? and this guy did a line then dropped down on the floor....flopping around like a fish, ambulance came, awful scene...maybe it was the coke, or maybe he didn't know he had a heart problem or whatever...that was the last time I messed with it...
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It is a blood borne virus, meaning blood to blood so not only would the person have had to somehow get blood on the straw you would also have to have a cut or sore or something in your nose. Statistically who can say what the risk is. It isn't very big. ou could get tested for peace of mind. Also make sure you have had your vaccinations for A and B. Using cocaine is dumb in my opinion, but if you choose to, use your own straw. Keep in mind this person you snorted with you KNEW had Hep C, but many if not most people with Hep C do NOT know they have it, so view everyone you snort with as potentially having these viruses.
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146021 tn?1237208487
Glad you are still stopping by. Sorry to hear about your viral load. Let us know when you get a "gig". I live in the DFW area.
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settecasi is right...they use kerosene in processing the **** they peddle now!..and forseegood saw firsthand how incredibly damaging coke can be to the heart....that sure  must've ruined the high.......Coke is a nasty,diluted,-maybe ..40% pure..maybe-they use all kinds of sh!t to cut it nowadays and if ya wanna take a ride-go south to the source and chew the leaves w/ a little slaked lime......that would be much healthier experience
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According to my GI, sharing staws in one of the most common ways to contract the virus.  It is also listed on the Peg web site as high rish for Hep C.

I agree with those above, the stuff out there today is so cut and poluted I would be afraid to even try it.  20 yrs ago, coke was coke.  Now it is full of chemicals, baby powder and lord knows what.  Stay away from it!  Wait a few months and get tested for HCV.

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These days you are so right coke isn't even really coke anymore - the chemicals that they call coke, well I can't even imagine what they could do to someone.

Anyway - this is HOW I got hepC back in the 80s.  I never had done IV drugs back then or had a tattoo or nail salon or anything but I DID snort a lot lot lot of cocaine. So it is very possible and in fact makes perfect sense when you think about it.  Since most addicts don't care how they get drugs into their bodies - and someone who snorts a lot of coke would likely have a lot of nasal tearing and abrasions and stuff - micro droplets that you can't see could EASILY be passed from moist membrane to the next.

it's not only that you can catch hepC this way - but having a drug habit isn't something that anybody just thinks is going to happen to them....they figure they'll just do it once, or once in a while and then BAM! Habit.

And then..........hepC can be pretty much a given and NOT the worst thing that can happen to you by a long shot.

My advice - don't snort anymore coke then you don't have to worry about it.

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Don't kid yourselves coke was cut with all kinds of **** back then too. sounds like yo think there was the good old days of coke. coke was bad then and it is bad now pure or cut.
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It was very different back then - always bad for you but...in some ways I'll be honest I think back "those were the days".  Being young and stupid - we just had fun and didn't worry about the consequences that we are paying for TODAY.

I mean heck - 40 was OLD I would never be THAT old for real!

Even though it was indeed cut back then - it was a very very different thing.  

But it doesn't make it GOOD either way. Just that youth is full of stupidity (naivity).

I didn't plan on growing up to be a drug abusing fool.....you know?
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80575 tn?1207135964
It is cited that cocaine use with a straw is a possible method of transmission because the cocaine bursts the nasal blood vessels.

You should wait a few months and get tested.  During that time this place is a good place to hang out for information and support.

BTW:  stop doing cocaine.
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It has got to be pretty hard to catch otherwise a lot more people would have it.

Hey have then been any studies on how people have gotten hep c. I am having a hard time with the staw thing. It has been written about here before. I could see how it might make sense but I have to say it seems like a strech.
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people that snort through straws after a long period of time, do bleed, which is why they say you can get hep c through sharing straws.
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According to a sign in my hepatologist's office, YES you can get Hep C in the way you are describing.  Get tested for Hep C antibodies after a month.  I also got Hep C in an unlikely way (sexual assault), but I got it nonetheless.  They let me do the antibody test exactly 1 month after the incident.  You could get a PCR test even earlier, as a Viral Load may appear before antibodies, but they may or may not let you and it's an expensive test.  It is very important that you get this antibody test after a month though.  If you got Hep C here in the US, it's likely you have the worst genotype (1).  Your chances of eradicating Hep C genotype 1 as someone recently diagnosed (an acute case) are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than as someone who has had the illness longer than 6 months (a chronic case). I wish you all the best.  Aiuta
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