STDs Expert Forum
Hepatitis query
About This Forum:

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.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Hepatitis query

Thanks Dr for taking my Q. I was tested for STDs a few years ago at the GUM clinic (I am from UK). I realised now they only tested for Hep B current infection (antigen). I'm worried I could have had Hep and passed it to someone without realising. In the household/everyday situation, is it possible to do this? I'm worried if I had blood on my hand I may have touched someone's wound or toothbrush/razor, or left period blood on a toilet, or pricked myself with a pin and then someone else also was. I never have had a wound like a stab wound or injury from a serious accident or something, but I'm worried if my parents helped me put a bandaid or bandage on a wound they could have been at risk. My first Q is what kind of situation would warrant such risk? I never injected drugs, the only thing I can think of is having used some device to prick myself to get a small amount of blood for blood sugar testing, I'm now worried what if someone at home helped me to use it and injured themselves. I was not worried about getting Hep B from previous BFs but began to worry what if they had a secret lifestyle. Or there were occasions with people not long term BFs, on one there was dry humping (naked) and a small amount of penetration which was stopped quickly. On another I believe it was just dry humping (can't remember if naked) and I worried what if the penis went in slightly and went unnoticed (this person took cocaine 'recreationally' but not an IDU as far as I know). The other risk was some years ago I was doing work experience in a hospital lab and got blood from one of the test tubes on my hand and the workers just told me to wash my hands (they told me what the blood was being tested for, I can't remember now but I'm sure it wasn't something like HIV/Hep though it was a long time ago). My main concern is having passed on to family/friends. Also my current BF was vaccinated for Hep B but I read its not 100 percent??
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.  Thanks for your question.

You describe a lifestyle at very low risk for infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV).  Sexual transmission generally requires unprotected intercourse (vaginal or anal, but probably not oral); or more overt blood exposure than is likely in any of the events you mention.  As for cathing it from your boyfriend, that's extremely unlikely from a partner who has been vaccinated.  Although HBV immunization isn't perfect, it's around 95% effective -- and if your boyfriend isn't at especially high risk (sex with men, injection drug use), you can assume you are in a zero risk relationship for hepatitis B.

But the real answer to your anxieties about this is to return to a GUM clinic, or your GP, and request another blood test for HBV, including antibody testing.  Most likely it will be negative, in which case you can be sure you were never infected and never could have transmitted HBV to anyone else.  You could also then be vaccinated, to prevent any future risk.  It is pointless to speculate about rare possibilities how you could have been infected, which will never settle the issue, when a definitive answer is so easy.

I hope this has helped. Best wishes--  HHH, MD
5 Comments
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Dr for your answer, it was very helpful, i will visit my GP. I promise last comment from me - Should I dismiss worries about passing syphilis to family members as well? I had tested negative for syphilis antibodies, though I know its possible have had it in the past and it would clear.Although it seems its not possible to pass syphilis without having sex or using injection equipment, is that correct?

One of the incidents of dry humping with a small amount of penetration occurred with a guy from Florida, and I read it is one of the places with syphilis, although I still assume it is rare unless they are in a particularly high risk group? Around this time I had also been using a device to prick myself to get small bit of blood for blood sugar testing (and now I'm imagining worse case scenario of family touching the implement). Although it seems my antibody test for syphilis would likely be positive if I had ever had the disease? (I got the test in 2011, the incident occurred in 2008).
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
I see no worries about syphilis either; and yes, untreated syphilis usually results in a positive blood test for life.

You're obviously obsessed with all this, perhaps out of shame, guilt, or anxiety over some sexual experiences you regret.  Do your best to stop speculating; see your GP and frankly discuss all this with him or her; accept his or her recommendations for testing; then believe the test results.  If your anxieties continue after going through those steps, perhaps counseling would be in order.  These are not normal thought processes.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Thanks Dr for your reply, I am on waiting list to see a counsellor. This is my FINAL comment, I am sorry.

My GP said that syphilis antibodies would remain for life but I'm worried because I've taken antibotics for bladder infections and perhaps other things which may mean my test was negative but I could have infected someone before? I don't know if my GP was taking that into consideration or not as she kept telling me it would have been positive, I'm quite worried about offending her!

From your answer I'm guessing the implement I'm talking about for blood sugar level wouldn't really cause a significant blood exposure for Hep or syphilis to be passed on?
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
There is no possibility of transmitting syphilis or hepatitis to anyone in your family, both because you definitely are not infected and, if you were, there still would be no risk from such trivial kinds of exposure.

This is more evidence of your disordered thinking about this.  Believe your GP -- and speak with her about all this.

That's definitely the endof this thread.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
300980_tn?1194933000
Edward W Hook, MDBlank
University of Alabama at Birmingham
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank