Would appreciate some insight (First-time non-intravenous drug use)
I really appreciate the time many of you put into this forum and the peace of mind you give so many people.
Anyway, I was at a going-away party for myself this weekend and, although I'm usually not much of a risk taker AT ALL, I was convinced into doing what I believe was cocaine by a girl I didn't really know- friend of a friend. She's 18, from Germany, and a student at a top 25 ranked university so she doesn't seem like a likely candidate to have Hep C/ HIV but she's obviously a risk taker. Anyway, she had some plastic thing that looked like an inhaler and she sniffed it and handed it to me and I did the same. I didn't feel anything but immediately panicked b/c I would never do coke under normal circumstances, however I was very drunk. I went to a mirror and didn't see any kind of powder- there was some liquid but that could've been from my nose and I didn't feel anything other than drunk. When I found her again and asked her, she laughed and said it was nasal spray, but some of my friends said she does do coke.
Anyway, long story short, I either did coke, messed up doing coke, or stuck this girl's inhaler thing up my nose (not deep though- no cuts, bleeding, etc.) and I don't believe there was any blood on the "device". The Dr. on the expert forum said No Risk; however, I believe he was talking about HIV. How likely is it that I could get Hep C from this/ should I get tested? Like I said- no prior drug use so my nose should be pretty much undamaged and without cuts/ ulcers/ etc.
Am I in the clear or not? for HIV or Hep C? Thanks so much! I appreciate it.
I just read some other posts from people saying they've gotten Hep C from "sniffing" or "snorting" drugs. This would definitely be classified as "sniffing" and it was a one-time thing. I believe the people that say they had no risk factors other than this, but most of them said they did "lots, lots, lots, of coke" This wasn't even enough to feel it. So what would be the chances based on a ONE time experience.
Hepatitis C Virus Can Be Transmitted by Drug Use Through the Nose
In most cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV), the virus is transmitted through contact with infected blood, usually through the sharing of needles and other drug injection instruments. However, for up to 20 percent of HCV infections, the method of transmission is unknown. Researchers have suggested that for some of these cases, HCV may be transmitted through the nose via the use of contaminated drug-sniffing implements. To test this hypothesis, investigators funded in part by NIDA tested mucus samples from 38 intranasal drug users with chronic, active HCV infection for the presence of blood and HCV. They also asked participants to snort air through a straw in a way that would mimic their normal drug-sniffing behavior to determine whether sniffing implements became contaminated. The straws were then tested for blood and HCV. The investigators found trace amounts of blood in 74 percent of mucus samples and on 8 percent of the straws used for sniffing. In addition, they detected HCV in 13 percent of mucus samples and on 5 percent of the straws. Only 8 percent of the samples contained both HCV and trace amounts of blood. Participants had a high rate of nasal inflammation and other nasal problems, including nosebleeds and damage to the inside of the nose from drug use, which may have contributed to the passage of blood and HCV from the nose. These results lend support to the hypothesis that HCV can be transmitted through shared use of contaminated sniffing implements, stated the authors.
Aaron S, McMahon JM, Milano D, Torres L, Clatts M, Tortu S, Mildvan D, Simm M. Intranasal transmission of hepatitis C virus: Virological and clinical evidence. Clin Infect Dis. 2008;47(7):931–934.
Thank you for that information. I'd read that before and that's what worried me.
I do believe, though, that my case might be different because neither of the parties (well, myself for sure) had any kind of nasal inflammation or damage from repeated use. That, and the fact that the method of use wasn't a straw but instead some kind of soft plastic thing that caused no irritation, makes me think I'm in a better circumstance? and that it was an isolated incident? Any input?
HIV is not transmitted through the exposure you described. I really don't think you need to worry. HCV is only transmitted when blood from an infected person enters the bloodstream of another. Even with open wounds and blood present it does not mean the virus will enter the bloodstream. I concur with your doctor and don't think you need to test. What I was saying is if the anxiety from your experience becomes too overwhelming then get tested. The results will be definitive and you can move on with your life.
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