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Please help! Very depressed about a dumb mistake!
Apr 13, 2008

Hello, About 12 weeks ago I tried cocaine for the first time. I know this was a dumb mistake and I am happy to say that I will never try it again. I SHARED a dollar bill with 2 to 3 people and I am concerned about the risk for Hep C. My questions....

1)From sharing a dollar bill with a few people to sniff cocaine, maybe 5 times throughout the night, what would you say my risk is?

2) I got a test a week or 2 after the risk and it was negative....if I get one at 13 weeks is that conclusive?

3)Do alot of people get infected this way?

4)Is there a risk for HIV? A few other websites say no, but what is your opinion?

Thank you for the help!

Response from Dr. McGovern

The issue of shared intranasal transmission implies that there was blood on the shared object and that the blood traversed mucous membranes or crossed damaged nasal passages. I think this may be more common in people who have been snorting cocaine all the time and have damage to the nasal passages.

The often quoted article that found the association between intranasal cocaine use did not examine risk factors for injection drug use, which is the main risk factor for HCV infection. So in summary - I don't think you at at any major risk of HCV infection, I think the three month blood test should be reassuring, and I don't think a lot of people get infected this way.

However, staying away from cocaine certainly is a good thing for your liver and heart since cocaine can do damage to both.



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