Oct 12, 2011
There is increasing consensus that HCV is sexually transmitted amongst gay men with HIV. Do we have any idea what behaviors are likely to transmit hepatitis C in gay seroconcordant sex? Do we know whether or not any of these constitute a "realistic" risk, or a "get hit by lightning" risk?
Secondly, as a point of curiosity, WHY is the data so bad? I've read numerous accounts online of the virus being transmitted by plain unprotected receptive anal sex with ejaculation. Why isn't there a greater effort made to examine cases of, say, two poz guys in a relationship where only one is infected with HCV, or HIV+ HCV- gay men who don't report bottoming during their period of infection? It seems that this would help us better understand what behaviors are leading to transmission.
| Response from Dr. McGovern
This is an excellent question.
A recent study published by Schmidt and colleagues used a detailed questionnaire to ask HIV infected study participants, with and without hepatitis C infection, about potential risk factors for transmission.
The study showed that compared to those without HCV, persons who became HCV positive were more likely to have:
Use of nasally administered drugs (eg, cocaine) and receptive fisting without gloves were also associated risk factors.
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