Routes of entry
Mar 28, 2011
Hi Doc, could you please inform me of different routes of entry for hepatitis c/ hiv? I have messaged you about blood coming into contact with cuts and such and you said it is a very low risk. Does a big amount of infected blood have to get directly in your viens or how does it work? Does the blood on cuts act as a barrier? This information would be very helpful
Response from Dr. McGovern
HCV is mainly transmitted via injection drug use as is HIV. However, HCV is more readily transmitted through shared injection drug use than HIV.
HCV transmission through sex occurs but less commonly than HIV. HCV transmission through sex has been reported more commonly among men who have sex with men in association with genital ulcers or traumatic anal sex. This again emphasizes the importance of blood to blood contact.
HCV and HIV transmission have occasionally been reported to occur with a human bite or through a traumatic fist fight. We just reported a case of HCV transmission via this route. However this is only the second case to be reported in such a route in 10 years. The skin is a very protective organ, but when violated, and if there is an opportunity for mixing of blood, there is an opportunity for transmission. But as you can see, this is quite rare.
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