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Transmission of HCV - Please answer!
Jun 24, 2012

I am interested in a man who is hep C positive, and has a high viral load. I have a few questions. I also have herpes type2, though am infected orally, if this makes any difference. ( I throw that out there because I've heard those with herpes are more prone to catching HCV)

1) What are the chances of catching this from kissing? Oral sex? Does the answer change if he has a cut in his mouth, but I don't? If I do but he doesn't?

2) What is the reason people with herpes are more likely to catch HCV (if with someone infected)?

3) He has sores on his body from the morphine (pain control) that makes him itchy. Some of them are not completely healed, but nor are they bleeding/oozing/wet neither. Should I worry about catching HCV from him from these sores? He told me his drs have told him he has to be actually, actively bleeding to infect someone and that sores that are not bleeding pose no risk. Is this true? Who's right?

4) Should I worry if he, for example, touches his arm where one of those non-bleeding sores are, then touches me? (particularly manual sex, where his fingers are then inside my vagina?) Is this a huge risk?

I'm really paranoid here. Please, please HELP!

Response from Dr. McGovern

HCV is transmitted by blood to blood exposure.

Hepatitis C is uncommonly transmitted sexually. However, men who have sex with men are at increased risk because of rectal trauma which increases the chance of blood to blood transmission. Safe sex decreases this risk .

Herpes or syphilis or other STDs can increase the risk of getting HCV because an ulcer is an area of trauma that can bleed.

Other routes you describe are not risk factors for catching HCV.



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