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I really need the answer to my question
Jul 31, 2000

I am a twenty year old gay male. About a year ago I got into a relationship and we have never had safe sex. Six months ago I was diagnosed with hepatitis C.

I now have a person a friend of mine, We had sex a couple of days ago. IT was totally safe. He used a condom while he was inside of me. He had just had a root canal done and he was giving me oral sex, he also gave me a rim job.

We had a talk about what we did and he's scared that I gave it he hep c virus to him. He does say that if he did get it he was not putting the blame on me.

What I want to know is if he can get it through what we did that night. I also want to know what I can do to prevent me giving this virus to any other possible lovers I might have.

Response from Mr. Kull

Please refer to my answer to the question on this forum Sexual Partners/Both Hep C. That response gives some detail about Hepatitis C (HCV) and sexual transmission.

Hepatitis C is found in the blood of an infected person. Transmission occurs when an infected person's blood enters an uninfected person's bloodstream (sharing injection needles, blood transfusions, organ transplants). Infection can occur through sexual contact, but the odds are low.

Your semen coming into contact with your sexual partner's mucous membranes (the mouth) would not transmit HCV. The virus is not transmitted through semen. If HCV were transmitted sexually, it would most likely occur through unprotected anal sex (with the infected person being the bottom). Receptive anal sex can cause bleeding which would expose the insertive (top) partner. However, the risk is still low because HCV doesn't seem to be transmitted easily when coming into contact with intact mucous membranes.

Using condoms for anal sex is really important to prevent sexually transmitted infections. Keep doing that as best as you can. Other sexual activity should not put your partners at risk for HCV infection.

I think it's great that you talked to your partner about your HCV infection. It's not an easy task. I hope you are finding the support you need -- both emotional and medical -- to keep yourself healthy and optimistic.

Take care.

RMK



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