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HIV Transmission and Education >> Am I Infected?

Anonymous
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Re: Hepatitis B question - would anyone know?
      01/18/06 07:55 PM

This is a board on HIV infection and no-one here is a doctor as far as I know. But, there is some information on this site which I refer to below and which may be helpful.

I suspect part of the problem you face is that medicine is not an exact science. If you ask a mathematician a question like will 1 plus 1 always equal 2, the answer will be an absolutely definitive 'yes'. If you ask a doctor, if someone is vaccinated will it be impossible for them to catch a disease, the answer will be something like, "that is in line with our current understanding" or "that is almost certainly true". The reason is that people vary a lot and there is always the possibility of a freakishly rare exception to prove the rule, so to speak.

Having said that, check this out: http://www.thebody.com/cdc/hepbvaccine.html

The important point is this, I think:

"More than 95% of children and adolescents, and more than 90% of young, healthy adults develop adequate antibody to the recommended series of three doses (Szmuness, 1980; Zajac, 1986; Andre, 1989). Persons who respond to hepatitis B vaccine are protected against acute hepatitis B as well as the chronic consequences of HBV infection, including cirrhosis and liver cancer (CDC, 1991 a; Hadler, 1992). "

So what you need to check is not just that your girlfirend was vaccinated, but that the vaccination caused the production of an adequate antibody response. I believe that a simple blood test is available for this. If your girlfriend does have antibodies to Hep B, then she is protected and will not develop the disease even if exposed to it via yourself. You will also notice that it says that vaccination is recommended for "sex contacts of persons with chronic HBV infection". I would suggest that it would not recommend that course of action (without any proviso) if it did not work.

Incidentally, some vaccinations can have a gradually diminishing effect - i.e. they stimulate antibody production but this gradually wains and has to be re-stimulated by periodic booster vaccinations. So I suggest you check out how this applies to Hep B, if indeed it does, and make sure that your girlfriend has the necessary schedule of re-vaccinations every X years.

As for your question on oral sex, check this site out:

http://www.dph.sf.ca.us/sfcityclinic/stdbasics/stdchart.asp

What it says is that it is possible though rare for Hep B to be transmitted to a woman who gives a man oral sex. It says there is no risk to a woman if an infected man gives her oral sex (your girlfriend should be pleased about that one! :-) ).

So...all in all....if your girlfriend has been vaccinated and has produced antibodies then I think you can safely say that the possibility of her catching Hep B from you is as close to nil as medical science can allow anyone to say.

I wish you and your girlfriend all the very best, and commend you for caring enough to ensure that you have all the facts to hand in the interests of protecting your girlfriend's health.




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Subject Posted by Posted on
* Hepatitis B question - would anyone know? Anonymous 01/18/06 03:23 PM
. * Re: Hepatitis B question - would anyone know? Anonymous   01/19/06 02:23 AM
. * Re: Hepatitis B question - would anyone know? Anonymous   01/18/06 07:55 PM
. * Re: Hepatitis B question - would anyone know? Anonymous   01/18/06 09:03 PM

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