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Please Educate Me: Hepatitis Symptoms & Testing

Disclaimer: I've read through a number of responses on this forum where folks on here might not be able to answer questions as it pertains to other forms of Hepatitis, so I'm posting this in both Hep B and C forums in an effort to get the right response. Apologies in advance if that is bad form.

A little more than 7 weeks ago I engaged in protected sex (oral and vaginal) w/ a SW. If you read through any of my previous posts (not suggesting you do) on other forums on this site, you can see how distraught this has made me. Never plan on doing anything like this again.

I've had a variety of symptoms since then, most of which posters on this site have said are in my head. That said, one area I haven't focused on is Hepatitis. I have had changes in my bowels (originally diarrhea and stomach pain - possibly anxiety after my stupid decision to engage in something w/ a SW - but since then, bowels come out solid but turn to dust/sand in toilet almost instantaneously). My urine looks more foamy, but color looks normal. I can see tons of blue veins in the palms of my hands (and at times, bulging blue veins on the back of my hands), which I know wasn't an issue in the past. Randomly, the palms of my hands turn red and itch (temporarily). Finally, I feel like my eyes are fuzzy, they get a little red towards the end of the day (I'm definitely experiencing dry eye). Again, I know all of this could be in my head, but curious as to whether any of this could be early signs of Hepatitis? How early do people that have been exposed see signs/symptoms?

I took a series of blood tests 45 days after the act. In terms of STDs, everything has come back negative to date (except HSV1 IGG, 0.90 equivocal). As it pertains to this post, HepA IGM was non-reactive, HepB Surface Antigen w/ Reflex Confirm was non-reactive, and HepC Viral RNA was non-reactive. I keep seeing different time periods post-contact where testing is considered conclusive. Can I consider any of these conclusive at 45 days? Are these the right tests to take? Which tests should I take again and when?

In terms of my other blood work, I've run CBC at 28 days and 45 days after the incident. WBC was 4.8, but jumped to 5.4. RBC steady in 5.3/5.4 range. Hemo north of 14. MCV and MCH came in low at 79.8 and 26.6. Glucose jumped from first run of 75 to 99 (was fasting both times). AST steady at 20, but ALT jumped from 14 to 29. Bilirubin steady at 0.7. Does the low MCV/MCH and/or changes in Glucose or ALT signal anything related to Hepatitis or the liver? Would I even see anything from the CBC 45 days after the fact related to the liver?

I know people say its very low risk of contracting something like this from a one-time protected sex incident. But, obviously, I'm still concerned. I would really appreciate any thoughts you can provide on my questions.

Thanks in advance.
1 Responses
683231 tn?1467326617
Hep c is a blood borne virus. Hepatitis c infected blood must enter your blood stream through an open wet weeping wound or by being forced in through for example an accidental needle stick or sharing IV drug needles if abusing drugs. Another possible route would be having a blood transfusion before 1989 when testing for hep c was developed and the blood supply was secured.

The majority of people infected with hep c have no symptoms. When people do have symptoms it is generally feeling tired. More serious symptoms take decades of infection to develop and are the symptoms of liver disease. For these reasons hep c is called a silent illness.

The symptoms you have described are not related to Hepatitis c.

You risk from this protected encounter if no blood was exchanged is essentially zero.

Hep c is a very slowly progressing illness with in general few symptoms. Hep c today is almost entirely curable with the meds approved over the few years. Cure rates today are about 98% or better.

My suggestion is to work with your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms and believe what your doctor tells you. Many of your symptoms sound like they are stress related.

You may consider seeking treatment for the medical condition I suspect you may actually have which is anxiety. Treating your anxiety will greatly improve your quality of life instead of worrying about illnesses you don’t have that at least for hep c is basically curable.

Good luck, work with your doctor
1 Comments
Thank you for your feedback. That was helpful and informative.
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