Dr., I so appreciate your honesty and yet I feel you are a bit naive. Transmission is a lot more common than you are letting on. I am 61 and have had hepc for most of my life. I got it from IV drug use I think. To say almost nonexistent when talking about saliva is just plain not right. We don't know and people need to know these things. I must commend you in that you at least are putting more of the facts out there. I have run support groups for over 10 years. I see the rate of transmission and I don't believe it is only blood. All I can say is be careful. This is a horrid disease and it is contagious. There is no nice way of saying it. AND most of our money gets hijacked by HIV and most with the disease don't talk about it. I just hate people thinking they are safe when they are not. No one really knows. Please don't lead people to think it is not possible or almost not possible say with saliva when we do not really know. I know people who have gotten it just by living with someone with the disease for years and years. It is sad and it is true. For years it was said it is not an STD. It is. For years it was said can't be transmitted any way other than blood..... not true.... Who knows? Please we can't give people a false sense of security ... Thanks



Thanks for your post; however, I take exception to your comment I am naive about hepatitis C transmission. My comments are based on the scientific epidemiological information that is currently available.

The current science on Hepatitis C transmission via saliva is that saliva can contain potentially infectious quantities of hepatitis C virus (HCV) if an infected individual has a high HCV viral load and poor oral hygiene (which leads to bleeding). We view the actual risk of transmitting HCV through saliva as extremely, extremely low. (However I do recommend those with HCV maintain good oral hygiene and keep their toothbrushes for their sole use.)

To back up my assessment of this situation I'll repost below some archival information from Dr. McGovern. She is a physican expert in this field.

Dr. Bob

Hepatitis C and saliva May 1, 2010

I handled a retainer that came directly from someone's mouth who was Hepatitis C positive. I had a few small cuts on my hand. Should I be tested and what is the risk for transmission by saliva? I have read a few studies from reputable sources on the internet, that show Hepatitis C can be found in saliva.

	Response from Dr. McGovern

Yes, HCV has been isolated from saliva, but there are no data to show that saliva has been proven to be a vehicle for HCV transmission.

No I would not get tested for this exposure.

Hepatitis C and saliva Jun 30, 2005

I was wondering if Hepatitis C can be transmitted through saliva? A friend of mine was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. We had been out drinking and she was laughing and spit beer all over my face and arm. Now I realize the arm is not the problem but I was more concerned about the face and the possibility of any of her saliva getting into my mouth. I'm really concerned about this and would like an answer as soon as possible. Thank-you for your time.

	Response from Dr. McGovern

I would consider this risk to be negligible and would not pursue testing.

Dr. McGovern

hepatitis c in saliva? Jul 30, 2005

i french kissed someone who has hepatitis c and saliva was transfered. (we didnt do anything else).should i be tested for hepatitis c ?

	Response from Dr. McGovern

No you don't need testing. There is no evidence that hepatitis C is spread that way.

Dr. McGovern

Hepatitis C Nov 3, 2009

Is Hepatitis C,a sexual transmitted diseas? Or Can it transfor by saliva?

	Response from Dr. McGovern

HCV is uncommonly transmitted through sex, although increasing data suggest transmission associated with traumatic sex among men who have sex with men in the US and in Europe. HCV is NOT transmitted through saliva.