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hepatitis c and deep kissing with gum disease please help
Jan 26, 2005

i reacently deeply kissed (many times) a guy I just recently found out is Hepatitis C Positive. I didn't know he was an IV drug user and he just told me all of this but anyway kissing was all we did thank God but heres my dilemna. I was on medication that causes my gums to be irritated so they do bleed a lot!! what happnens if his mouth was bleeding at the time of our kisses? I'm so scared how much blood would have to be involved there for the virus to pass on to me? Do you think the chances are good, because I even asked him if his gums ever bleed and he said yes, whenever he brushes his teeth. Please help me, I'm so scared. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Conway

Both HIV and HCV are trasnmitted by blood. If we are taling about exposure to significant amounts of visible blood, HCV is more transmissible. However, if the guy had no visible blood in his mouth, the risk of him transmitting HCV to you is extremely low, even if you had some bleeding from your gums. Remember that maternal-fetal transmission of HIV approaches 20-30% without any outside intervention (such as giving HAART to the pregnant woman), but is less than 1% for HCV. If there is no visible blood, it is actually hard to get HCV.

This being said, you should still have a baseline HCV test to establish that you were not infected from a previous exposure. If this is negative, you need to repaat the test over the next 2-3 months, and immedaitely if you develop any symptoms of hepatitis.

However the risk remains low, and you should remember that. Also remeber to get tested for HIV...

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