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Girlfriend with Hepatitis C
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Girlfriend with Hepatitis C


I have a girlfriend who discovered that she has hepatitis C, the infection occurred probably very long ago due to blood transfusion. Viral load is very low (less than 100,000), no liver symptoms at all for her and currently she was advised there is no need for treatment and just continue to be monitored. I'm Hepatitis C negative and we are still using condoms in all sexual contacts.

The other day we had sex after we thought her menstruation was over, but some blood was on the condom and I thought a small portion touched some of the skin on the penis (the part closer to the body, it was probably not covered well enough by the condom). I washed that area as soon as possible with warm water and soap and there is no sign of any cut or broken skin on that part or any place near. Still my question is what are the odds of getting infected this way? I'm reading very conflicting information on the net and would appreciate professional info on this. The articles I read that made me most confused are the articles warning not to touch infected blood. Is that just extra precaution or is there really a chance for blood-to-skin infection? Would the chance change if there had been a rash, mosquito bite or anything similar on the skin (if either or both of us have a rash or mosquito bite)?

Further to that, I would like to understand the risk I'm taking. I read a lot of information, the infection chance seems rather low, at least based on what I read, but the result of infection is particularly severe. We are a new couple and truth be told I'm a bit wary of going into something which is beyond what I can handle and don't want to disappoint both of us at the end. I mean even if there is a 2% chance of getting infected if we decide to go with condoms and 5% chance of the possible future child getting infected, once infection occurs the result could be literary deadly.

Awaiting your advise.
Tags: Hepatitis C, girlfriend
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Heterosexual transmission of hepatitis C through vaginal sex is not a risk according to all the literature out there. It does seem to be sexually transmitted among men who have sex with men through anal intercourse since there is often blood involved.  Blood on the skin is not a risk as long as there is not a puncture wound introducing blood into the bloodstream. You should be fine with or without condoms, but when she has her period, it is probably safer to use condoms.
Good luck! DTD
I am going to tell you what I know about my own personal experience.

I was married and believe I was infected during my 3rd month of pregnancy I have proof that I was NOT infected prior to pregnancy - and while we were on a cruise --- I went through what could have been termed an ACUTE phase..

Anyhow - my husband and I had sex VERY actively - in many different ways,etc.. we also had sex during menstrual cycles --- my entire family was in a car accident where we all were bleeding...

Not a one of them has HCV....

My daughter was born - while I believe I was infected.

I don't think you should be worried overly much. They have NOT had ONE single case of a monogamous couple passing it to one another in any of the 20 year studies they have done with one member of a monogamous couple passing it to one another ---- as of yet --- that I have found... If you have found something showing you something different - let me know the link... I'd like to see it

As for passing it to a child through a vertical transmission during birth it's a 5 % ratio...

5 in 100 or 1 in 20 --- depending on how you look at it.

I personally believe HCV must be introduced into the BLOODSTREAM -- and unless you are ACTIVELY BLEEDING with a sucking wound or getting injected --- or have a piece of metal forced into your skin with infected blood --- then your chances of getting HCV are VERY slim.

I have YET to meet someone who has HCV that has not had dental work, had a transfusion or  had shots...

So - while that may be theory - I think it's pretty spot on.. LOL!

Anyhow - these are good questions and I do hope the doctor can answer them

MUCH luck to you and your lady.

Nice to meet you. It's good that you are getting informed and learning about things --- I hope your girlfriend is also doing the same.... Plus keeping a very close eye on her body and the damage that may be going on.


Dear Dr. Dieterich,

I would appreciate if you can comment on this question.

you absolutely can get HEP C from blood on blood contact.  That is how is spreads, not through casual contact,but through bodily fluid exchange.  You should be ok if you used a rubber and a little got on your upper penis
hep C is blood to blood contact. both of your bloods have to touch. I got hep c when I was 16.I have 4 grown healthy kids. I am 42 years old and I have never passed it to anyone. It all depends on how you really feel about her on if you want to stay in the relationship. It can be safe.
Sexual transmission of hep c is rare, even more so female to male.  Simple anatomy.
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