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sexual transmission of hep c
Jun 13, 2004

Hi Doc..

I recently had sex with a guy who has hep c. We used condoms, however, unprotected oral sex (both ways). He insists there is no way to get hep c from semen.

Is he right? Should I get tested? Also, why is it often said that there is no need to change sexual practices with monogamous couples....arent' they at the same risk as a "one nighter"? thanks for this forum!!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Hepatitis C is transmitted by exposure to blood - either through injection drug use, needlestick exposures in health care personnel, or by dialysis... There is no evidence that hepatitis C can be transmitted through oral sex.

Monogamous couples appear to be at low risk - about 1-3%. However, people who have more than 50 sexual partners are at increased risk for HCV. It is not clear why having multiple sexual partners puts you at risk. It may be a marker of something else that is occurring. Another possibility is the type of sexual intercourse - for example, sex with trauma. However, it is important to know that sexual transmission of HCV is uncommon. However a one-time sharing of needles can be enough to transmit HCV infection.

Dr. McGovern



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