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Avatar universal

I need advice

My ex-husband's father found out he had Hepatitis C about 10 years ago (it is suspected that he had it for atleast 20 years before being diagnosed). Prior to his diagnosis he and my ex had shared razors, nail clippers, etc. like most family members. After they found out, the family was tested and the results were negative, but no one shared this information with me.  

During college my ex and I lived with his famiy for over a year and during that time, I often shaved my legs with my husband's razor when I couldn't find my own or was in a hurry.

I found out about all of this recently and I have been pretty concerned. My mind immediately went back to the times when I used nail clippers, razors, etc. with my ex-husband that his dad might have used to without us knowing. I know for a fact that I shared a razor with my ex, a couple of years before anyone knew his dad had it and I might have nicked myself (I get razor burn all the time and sometimes cut myself.) Also, now that I look back, I can remember times that his dad still might have borrowed his razor even after he knew he had it because he was not as careful as he should have been.

Anyway, I know this is long, but I wanted to explain why I am worried. The biggest problem is that I do not have health insurance right now. I am 26 years old and in grad school. I can get tested for very cheap at my school, but I am afraid if I do have it I will never be able to get any insurance because of it being a pre-existing condition.

I am so afraid I might have given it to my younger sisters (we have sometimes shared everything lke razors and toothbrushes-not a good idea, as I now know). And I have been in a relationship for a while and we also share a lot of stuff, not to mention he has once bandaged a cut of mine and there have been times where we have had sex and I started my period. I do not think I could stand it if I had given in to the people I care about.

Should I get tested now or wait? I need some peace of mind, but I don't want to hurt my future insurance.

I have been doing so much research and I just can not concentrate on anything else. I am afraid that if I get diagnosed, my entire life is going to change and I already have a lot of stress with family, money, and school.
20 Responses
717272 tn?1277594380
Get tested so you can stop obsessing on something that probably does not even exist.  If you do it at the school there should be no record of it to pop up for your insurance later.
Avatar universal
No, I already called and asked several times. It will definitely be recorded and any insurance company will check my records.
Avatar universal
Angela, you, probably, have nothing to worry about. You mention that your ex was tested before, and the results were negative. So you couldn't get hepatitis C from him. It is not that easy to get it from nail clippers, razors and toothbrushes. My husband has this disease for a very long time and was diagnosed just recently. I used his razor numerous times and a few times used his tooth brush-and I am negative for the disease.
I think you should not test now-for insurance purposes. Wait until you are out of school and have a job with insurance, then test to give yourself peace of mind. This disease is very slow in progression and a few years will not make much difference. But if you will have a record of having pre-existing condition, you will be srewed. My hubby was diagnosed when his blood was tested for life insurance, and all life insurance policies are off limits for him now.
Again, it is very unlikely that you have this disease. That is a part of the reason why I advise you to wait with testing.
Avatar universal
I guess my dilemma is that I am terrified I have given it to my sisters or boyfriend although I know the chances seem low.

And what concerns me is that even though he tested negative, maybe he just didn't happen to cut himself but I did with a razor that his dad had used. I did not even know that he had it but now I remember times that his dad was really irresponsible and one time he even used my ex's razor after he had known that he had it. It was after my ex had tested negative, although he did notice it an threw it away. There is no way to predict how many times he might have done that without us knowing.

I feel like maybe I am being irresponsible to other people which I guess is why I am freaking out so much. I am hoping I can find a full time job soon which might offer benefits while I am still in school, but for now my part time job offers nothing.

I think I am afraid that if it is positive my whole life will be out of control. For the first time in my life everything finally seems settled down and I am happy.

Oh, and his dad developed cirrhosis and passed away 3 years ago. He went most of his adult life not knowing he had it and he found out the same way-when he applied for insurance. He also struggled with alcoholism, so it got pretty bad for him.

Also, for this type of transmission, would a cut have to be very deep, or can it be spread by a tiny nick?
9648 tn?1290094807
It has to be blood to blood. In other words, a toothbrush or razor or nail clippers that contain HCV contaminated blood, has to come in contact with someone's blood and enter their body to create the exposure.

It doesn't happen that easily.

However, one should never share these items, even if there is no HCV in the household. It's just not a good idea.
Avatar universal
I understand your concern; I felt it myself when I was first diagnosed.  In a way it is a similar situation as yours; innocent unknowing people who are co-habitating with another person who is infected.

I want you to NOT be overly concerned.  The odds that you are infected are remote.  It may be greater than getting hit by lightning but almost certainly it would be an unlikely event.

For you to turn around and then infect another would be twin unlikely events.

Many or most of us lived in marriages and relationships without knowing that we had HCV.  As it stands very, very few were able to transmit to their loved ones.

Sharing razors?  When I shave I always rinse the blade. I suppose that some people might leave foam and whiskers in their razor, but generally even if there were blood it would simply be washed off.  Even it it had blood in it, usually it would be rinsed several times as shaving took place with the next person.  The circumstance for blood to blood transmission generally doesn't occur that often.  It still remains a possible vector but many or most of us have shared with their loved ones (pre-dx of course).

Getting tested?  You could donate blood; that is one way.

You could also go in for a multitude of tests; HIV, Hep A, B, and C or some other panel that one might well get from time to time.  I don't think it would be a huge flag for insurance companies.  This would be an antibody test.  IF one were to get a positive (or reactive) result a further test would occur that would prove more definitively the presence of infection.

One sad thing about HCV is that only about 1/3 of us who have the virus are diagnosed.  How tragic for so many that they are not aware that they could get treated, take precautions against transmitting or precautions such as not drinking alcohol or other actions which could potentially save their lives.

I hope that you take some action yourself and get some testing.  

I think you'll find that you are not infected and therefore were also incapable of transmitting to others.

best wishes,
Willy
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