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Can you contract Hep C from sharing cocaine with straw????
May 21, 2004

About two weeks ago I did some coke and used the same straw with a person exposed with hepatitis C. I would like to get tested ASAP should I wait 4 more weeks? Would you consider this a high risk contact especially, if I was bleeding from inside the nose? Does the person exposed have to be bleeding from

the nose also?

Response from Dr. McGovern

Intranasal cocaine use is considered a risk factor for hepatitis C but the risk is low. Since hepatitis C is transmitted via blood exposures, the HCV positive person would have to have had some bloody nasal discharge also for transmission to you.

I agree that it would be best to be tested now for a baseline HCV antibody and to be retested at 3 to 6 months after exposure. If you have any symptoms of nausea, vomiting or right upper quadrant pain, I would be tested right away for HCV virus itself.

Overall though the risk is much lower than with injection drugs. Dr. McGovern

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