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Hepatitis C risk?
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Hepatitis C risk?

Hello doctors,

Recently I think I may have had a risk for hepatitis c and its making me really worried. I shared a marijuana pipe with 4 other people at a party. None of them had any noticeable bleeding and I did not see any blood on the pipe. Was this a risk?  I am also concerned because the day after the party I was picking at lip a bit and a bit of blood appeared. Could this mean that I may have accidently gotten hepatitis C on my hand at the party, and when I was picking my lip the day after I put myself at risk for infection?

Should I test over this incident?
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Welcome back to our Forum.  It appears that you do not even know that the people you shared the pipe with had HIV.  Even if they did, this question, as well as your question last month suggest that you may mis-understand how HIV and other blood borne infections are transmitted.  HIV is spread only through penetrative genital or ano-genital sexual contact or injection of infected material DEEP into tissue.  Hepatitis C is far less infectious sexually than HIV and again is transmitted otherwise only by introduction of infection deep into tissue. It is not spread through surface contamination, sharing pipes or drinking glasses, kissing, shared eating utensils or other day-to-day contacts.  That you may have had an open sore on your lip makes no difference to risk.

The activity you describe did not place you at risk for hepatitis C in any way.

I hope this comment is helpful. EWH
13 Comments
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I had also picked at my lip a bit earlier in the day before sharing the pipe (bad habit, its winter) but i did not notice any blood or anything and it had been a bit of time from when i had picked my lip to when i shared the pipe.
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Hope i can get an answer! This is really bugging me. I know isnt exactly an std question but i did not see a more appropriate forum for it and i saw other hepatitis c questions in this forum.
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Thanks! That does help. One last thing and i promise ill be on my way. The day after when i picked my lip i squeezed it to see if blood was coming out at all. Thats when a drop of blood came out and i wiped it away. This would still be a no risk situation for hiv and hepatitis c right?
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Oops. In addition to what I said in my last comment I also forgot to mention i got my wisdom teeth removed about 30 days ago which would also not change the risk for hep c? These last two things are the last im asking!
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Or if my cheek was sore and i might of bitten it maybe there was some bloog? Wow, i sound crazy.
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300980_tn?1194933000
None of these things- your wisdom teeth removal, that you squeezed your lip till it bled or the sore on your cheek in any way change my assessment or advice.  no reason for concern and no reason for testing.  EWH
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Oops i meant some  blood not bloog lol. Thankyou for the help! I am relieved!
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this is going to sound extremely silly but you did know i meant that maybe there was some blood on the sore inside my cheek and not bloog, right?
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and i promise that thats literally the last thing i could possible ask. ill stop bugging you guys after! :)
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Still no risk- Hepatitis C is not spread through ingestion.  Please relax. EWH
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Hello Dr. Hook.

Sorry to be a bother again. I was just wondering if putting in and out my contacts after would be a risk? just in case there was trace blood on my hands maybe from the pipe

Thanks
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300980_tn?1194933000
You need to let this go.  My assurances do not seem to register.  

No, there would be no risk to you from putting your contacts in or out.

This is my final response.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
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Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
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