Well, i just found out my boyfriend is positive. Would he be a candidate for Hep C treatment, even though he is an IV user? he is going to be going to rehab soon for his drug addiction, it is a process....should he be referred to a liver specialist?...
I have some questions concerning my own health in relation to this:
* Can i still kiss him? he has a lot of tooth pain/decay issues, and right now i have chapped lips.
* What is the likely hood of transmission from oral intercourse and / regular intercourse?
* When would my body start to develop antibodies for it, to turn up on the test?
* What are the physical symptoms of early onset?
* Is there any way to tell how long my boyfriend has had this, and if it is active?
* Can he live a healthy life, or could he potentially get very sick?
Thank you so much for any information you have for me. I live on the west coat of Canada, if anyone knows of any good doctors. I am very cautious and dont want this transmitted to me, though dont want to just give up on him because he has it.Ju
If you have chapped lips and are bleeding and he has bleeding gums,i dont think its a good idea to be deep kissing.Here in Canada i think its 6 months you have to clean before they will treat.Dont know all the answers to your questions but take it one step at a time.You need to get tested for the antibodies first.If you didnt share his needles or other works you should be ok
Most centers require abstinence from IV drug use as well as alcohol before starting treatment, but there may be exceptions I'm not aware of. When and if he's determined a candidate for treatment, your boyfriend would be best seen by a hepatologist or a GI who is experienced in treating hep c.
As far as your concerns about transmission -- it's unlikely through routine sexual contact -- my husband & I have been together over 23 years, and I am hep c negative. Some people exhibit symptoms when infected (called an "acute" phase, with abdominal pain and/or swelling, severe discomfort, or 'food poisoning' kind of symptoms) but many do not. There are simple blood tests your doctor can order to see if you have had exposure and/or have active hcv. (Positive antibodies means exposure to the virus, a RNA quantification test often called viral load will detect active infection.)
Most people don't know how long they've had hep c, and there's no test that can answer that question. Hep c is unpredictable: some people live for years with the disease and sustain little damage and stay healthy; others progress to cirrhosis and other life-threatening complications over time. I can't recommend any good doctors as I'm unfamiliar with Canadian healthcare, but best of luck to you and your boyfriend. ~eureka
Thank you so much for all your info. This site, and everybody's comments have really helped in shedding some knowledge and calming my nerves re: this situation. It makes sense for him to be off the drugs for a year prior to treatment, 1 day at a time. Its tough to see someone you love go through such physcial and emotional addiction, coming from a non- drug user at all. I am very hopeful.
Just a thought...Remember that HIV infection CAN be transmitted by sex and it's survival span is not only much less than Hep C, but has fewer treatment options with a more dismal response...Protect yourself, use condoms for oral or other sex, and don't use his needles...Most people who have hep c die from something else before the complications of Hep c kick in...Most people who are HIV positive die from it. Please be careful, and if possible, don't do the IV or nose drugs...(Blood from nose can contaminate snorting straws and transmit to someone else.) Also, he shouldn't share his personal grooming supplies (razors, tweezers, nail clippers, toothbrush, etc. with others.)~MM
Somehow I missed reading the first time around that you live on the West Coast in Canada. There is a superb Hep C network out there that you might want to hook up with and it's HepCBC. Their website is http://www.hepcbc.ca - they put out a newsletter called hepc.bull - among other things, it will list where all the support groups are and there are quite a few in BC. They also put out one of the best FAQ's on Hep C around called Peppermint Patti's FAQs. The last update was Sept. 2008 and that's a bit older but it's still full of good stuff and they've made an effort to make use of knowledgeable reliable sources for their information. I hope that's a good start for you.
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