I was diagnosed HCV positive 5 months ago. I have been celebate since that time but am considering sexual contact with a partner. My doctor told me that even open mouthed kissing could transmit HEP C. How easily can a woman pass HCV to a man? If I have no open wounds and no bleeding, what are the chances of passing HCV to a sexual partner either through intercourse or kissing? I'm feeling pretty hopeless about the possibility of ever having a partner again and the fact that my doctor said that I could pass the virus by kissing really has me depressed. If this is true, then couldn't the virus be passed by allowing someone to drink from the same glass, or eat from my plate?
Your doctor is out of touch with reality. Sexual transmission of hepatitis C is uncommon in monagomous relationships even when condoms aren't used. In fact, the usual recommendation from a reputable liver specialist is that condoms do not have to be used in monagamous relationships. Not that sexual transmission never happens, but there are many in this forum with hepatitis c, married for years to partners who have not caught it. I suggest you have future discussions about hepatitis c with a liver specialist. They're called hepatologists and can usually be found in your larger, teaching hospitals. Your experience points out what a lot of us here know already -- that most people in this country (doctors included) know very little about this disease.
I have been married for 30 years and have had hep C before I met my husband. He is negative. We used to share razors - not knowing there was a problem. There should not be a problem, but it would be advisable to inform a potential partner so the person could make his own choice. Perhaps you can go online together and do a little googling
Hopefully, this Q&A from a leading hepatologist (liver specialist) will put you more at ease.
In part answer to a question regarding sexual transmission through intercourse or kissing, the doctor says:
Good question! In an Italian study of about 900 hetersexual married couples over ten years there was no sexual transmission of HCV. It is not really a sexually transmitted disease. You should not share razors and toothbruses where blood to blood transmission may occur. Among men who have sex with men it does seem to be transmitted sexually. Therefore we also caution heterosexual couples not to have unprotected anal intercourse. So go ahead have fun, but be careful! DTD
Touchy issue- but a fun topic, so I guess they cancel each other out!
I agree with Jim, likelyhood of transmission is very slim. I've never understood why they put the monagomous disclaimer on there - doesn't make sense to be. Condoms would seem prudent under any circumstance except when trying to achieve pregnancy.
Now the dicey part. I'd say you have the moral obligation to disclose your status to a new partner - even though the odds of transmission are, in my estimation, infantessimal. So that kinda puts the cold blanket on heading out to the club and knocking one out on the bar stools after closing, as a few of us here have admitted to.
But all is not lost. There is absolutely no reason you can't enjoy a committed physical relationship. I'd find me a hepatologist I liked (a good idea anyway), then drag my new boyfriend in for a consult on the disease and the very remote possibility of transmission with casual contact and normal sexual activities. Satanic rituals may be out, at least for now.
Good advice as always Girl, while the possibilty is remote, very remote, we must use precaution, a good thing to do in this day and age anyway...although I must admit, while reading your post I thought to myself....ouch ouch ouch! he he he....
please go to reputable sites on hcv, and stop asking your friends about it unless they are knowledgeable on HCV, which by your friend's comments, she is not and sounds very ignorant.
Read janis7hepc.com and hcvadvocate.org(Ithink) to enhance your knowledge of hcv from reputable sources. Most people have no idea what hep c is, until they are personally touched by it, then they learn real quick.
I have HepC and have had it for about 25 years the doctor says. My xhusband had it and I never thought anything of it because I was always told it was almost impossible to get it that way.
I do not know if I got it from him but the more I think about it I believe it is POSSIBLE since we do not know HOW I got it (like most people).
There is ALWAYS a chance however slim that there can be an exchange of blood during sex.
While the chances are very slim according to the statistics it is POSSIBLE and I would advise using SAFE SEX practices and always informing a potential partner. I did and he was mature enough to realize that it was OK but precautions should be taken. (We did break up later though LOL)
Always remember that safe sex practices would also mean in your case not during your period, no anal sex and no rough sex that could cause any abrasions and exchange blood.
goof said: I've never understood why they put the monagomous disclaimer on there
I think I once read that there's less drug use, "unorthodox" sexual practices, and especially STD's in monagamous versus non-monagamous relationships. I think that's why they differentiate, or maybe it's just because non-monagamous sex is a lot hotter LOL. Dunno.
BTW I don't think disclosure is necessary until you reach base 4, although I'm sure some will disagree. My doc told me disclosure wasn't necessary at all as long as you used a condom. The problem with this approach is the discussion you may eventually have if the relationship turns serious. Some may feel betrayed they weren't told earlier. Like you said, a "touchy" subject. :)
what kind of doctor is he? and in what state? not even the CDC site makes such a warning. Dump this provider, all he is providing you with is aggravation and misinformation. HAve you check the janis7hepc.com site? they have a very comprehensive site on hep c. Unless you know this relationship will become long term, I would not disclose the hep c status. You are going to be practicing safe sex if you choose that route of intimacy and touching and kissing is not a risk. Unless it is long term relationship, I will keep the information to myself and exercise universal precautions.
My doc told me that although it is an unfair assumption - they consider anyone who has had more than like ten partners in their lifetime to be more into rough sex. I don't know why they would assume that anyone who's been with more than ten people is an animal but it's some old fashion sort of prejudice and this is why one of the questions is are you or have your been sexually promiscuous or something.
That is why he said that they say someone in a monogamous relationship has less chance because they are assuming based on that. He even said it was nuts but at least he explainned it to me.
wow, I don't understand the correlation either, more then 10 partners and it's considered "rough sex"? What if you only had 2 partners but they were Andre the Giant and his Sex mutant cousin? That sounds like some kind of judgement call on his part, in terms of amount of partners. I'm sure he's a good doctor though...with this one questionable belief. This is an interesting topic though. Like I said before, I've been to many hep c support groups and there were many married and live in couples (for many years) there, with one person infected and the other not. Although of course you should use precaution, I think it's more a blood borne disease. Just my take. Hope youre feeling better and the weather is nice for you.
Nah it wasn't HIS opinion and he thought it was a bunch of BS he said that is what the medical community view is. I guess if anyone of us are real sluts we are able to do some pretty AMAZING sexual things that the rest of the world is not able to do.
I figured it was a huge compliment on my abilities and sort of wondered if I was in the wrong career?
(I guess what they figure (after I thought about it) is that people who are that "promiscuous" do some wilder stuff or something. I sure didn't get it and neither did he).
Sounds like anyone who supports that opinion needs a good version of a Dr. Ruth book to me. :)
Thank you all so much for the advice. I have been searching for reputable sites to gain awareness. Maybe I will give my quack doctor the website info so she doesn't scare the **** out of her future patients!
Welcome.My friend it sounds like your doc is talking about hepatitis b,but being a doc.he should knowthe difference.With hep.b you can infect others thru.body fluid.As stated above hcv is thru blood to blood contact.I caught hcv in the mid 80's and didn't find out I had it til after I was married.My wife has been tested 4 times,neg. each time along with my 2 daughters.The persentage is very low for sexual trasmission.
I had multiple partners in the 70's. I have had several relationships since that time but they were also monogomous in their duration, which usually averaged a year or more. I was in a relationship with a guy for more than a year and I was monogomous. I had reason to believe however, that he was NOT and I ended the relationship in May 05. I tested for all STD's (incl HIV) in December 04 and tested negative. It was in August 05 that my HCV was positive and my doctor said that because there was no evidence of HCV antibodies in my December 04 testing, that I must have contracted it at some time between January through August 05. I was told it was a very low viral load after the second round of tests. This doctor is a regular family practitioner at an HMO in southern california. I felt like her response to me with the open mouthed kissing question was primitive. If you can pass or contract HCV by kissing, by gosh, EVERYONE would have it, wouldn't they? A friend of mine told me last night that HCV is a strain of AIDS. Now I really feel plagued!
Everyone has there own way of dealing with the sex disclosure situation.
But one way is not to tell any casual sexual partner you have hep c as long as you practice safe sex. You might decide to tell someone you are serious about before you have intercourse, but only because a late disclosure might come back to haunt the relationship.
Bottom line is the chance of HCV transmission with safe sex (if it exists at all) is so low that there are no medical guidelines I know of that even suggest condoms in monogamous relationships.
As far as this kissing thing, the speculative article posted is not supported by any studies and I've never heard a liver specialist warn his hep c patients against kissing.
So please, stop worrying about what doesn't exist and go live your life in as normal a manner as possible. BTW the few sexual partners I disclosed my hep c status to, weren't concerned in the least. I've also heard this from other people as well. Especially heard this from women who disclosed to men. Truth is, we men will risk life and limb to get a little. And I'm only half kidding. LOL.
That said, if you still want to post your specs. LOL.
You really need to go to the Janis website and LEARN for yourself how far out of line the info you've gotten is. The way you get POWER over this disease is by KNOWING about it!
Most of the public is COMPLETELY ignorant about it. You have to read and put a bit of time in and learn what is what here.
I not only is this not AIDS but you can't get aids from kissing either can you.
You need to find out what genotype and what your viral load is to start. If you DID get this so recently you probably don't need to treat but the ONLY way you can be SURE is to have a biopsy which is quick and painless. THEN you will see for SURE what is up with your liver. Then if you decide you CAN indeed wait...in a few years you redo it and see if there has been any progression in your liver disease.
Viral load is no indicator of what is going on inside of your liver at all. I had a VERY LOW viral load BUT my liver is half shot. If I took the viral load number I would not have treated and that would have been a HUGE mistake for me.
It sounds like you need a doctor who will take the time to sit down with you and answer your questions. Write them down. Ask the Nurse Practitioner or something but make sure you are going to someone who KNOWS about HepC. A heptologist or a Gastroenteroloist at least.
Then you can have peace of mind.
None of us in here are doctors and we only had "advice" to give.
But it truly seems you need a crash course ASAP. Stop listening to your friends.
ANY questions you have you can throw out in here. I've learned SO VERY MUCH from these guys in here and while we are not doctors we all (almost) will help and support you all we can.
But remember opinions are one's own thought and not everyone in here will agree on everything.
BEST of luck to you.
Keep talking and asking questions from people WHO ARE EDUCATED in this. Your friends are uh whacked.
Can you get this monster from kissing? Probably no but,,,,if both partners had gum disease,,,both bleeding,,,,yep that could definitely be possible. I would be careful being woman during menstrual cycles,,,,again very low percent but if the man had a cut,,,that could be a set up for disaster!
I just think the whole thing about monogamous sex is that is the only way they can keep a control group. Once they get a couple where one is pos. and one is neg. and rule out all the risk factors. Then conclude the only thing these two risk together is sex. Otherwise they can't really determine how a person may catch it, and I guess a more promiscuest(?)person may take a little more risk. I know I did. Peace
I just know that I do not want to be celibate forever! I also do not want the world to know I tested positive either. It could really put a damper on a relationship in the early stages. I got some hopeful information here today. I'm still really afraid to be intimate with anyone. The thought of never being able to be intimate or even be kissed again is a very desolate and lonely feeling.
I for one feel that you are really out of line speaking like this to a newcomer with a valid question...I hope the forum managers see this last post and deal with all your incarnations of that's the case....
I've had 3 relationships over 5 years in duration, 2 of them are negative; the other I don't know: lost touch a long time ago. I found out while I'm with my present girlfriend. You have to let things evolve some before you you tell anyone. There is no sense in telling everyone you date, you'll probably practice safely until you're ready to get more serious.
I have a very hard time believing kissing could be a risk at all. I Hope you realize that HCV is only a bump in your life, you will be able to still live you life to fullest. Peace
Maybe he is a little out of line- I don't know,but atleast HCVpositive has gotten some reassurance that the opportunity for intimacy is still there. Hope exists. Not everyone is so close minded as to refuse a relationship with someone because they have a disease. Lets be open minded.
My doc said the viral load was very low. At the time, I said "what's a viral load"? I don't know the count but she said that the specialist did not feel that the count was high enough to warrant treatment. I'm going to the doctor next month and am asking for a referral anyway. These HMOs don't care anything about the patient. It's all about what they can gouge my insurance for in return for no service. The person that I want to be intimate with is allergic to latex and cannot use condoms. He also tested negative for all STD's and HIV last month. I really don't want to tell him about any of this (although I realize that from a morals standpoint, I should). We have seen each other off and on for more than 2 years and have never had sexual contact. I have a feeling that our next date will be going to 4th base. I may have already scared him off by asking him to bring condoms when he comes over next week. That is how I found out that he is allergic. This guy isn't Mr. Right. He's Mr. Right now, but I still care enough about him that I would never want him hurt by my actions.
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