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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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What are the transmission ways of Hepatitis B and C?
Jul 31, 2000

Dear Dr. Dieterich, in Germany, where I come from, different doctors gave me different information about the ways of infection with Hepatitis B. Most of them said it is similar to HIV. Others, however, said it is possible via oral contacts, including kissing. This really confused and worried me. That's why I ask you to summarize briefly the transmission pathways of Hepatitis B and C. Thank you very much in advance!

Response from Dr. Dieterich

Hepatitis B is a classic sexually transmitted disease. It is also transmitted by blood. Kissing is a really remote possibility because both peoples gums would have to be bleeding for transmission to occur. This is much like HIV. Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted from blood to blood contact. There is a very low amount of it in the semen so sexual transmission is rare, but possible. Gay sex is more likely to transmit both hepatitis B and C. Get vaccinated for hepatitis B or get your partners vaccinated if you have it and practice safe sex! DTD

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