Once you have hepatitis A or B, only with rare exceptions will you get it again. But they are only part of the story. People with acute hepatitis C virus infection should be followed by a doctor and only considered for treatment if their infection remains and becomes a chronic infection. However, it is not clear whether being infected with HIV makes you more likely to become infected with hepatitis C from someone else when engaging in risky sexual activities. Oral sex is also considered to carry an extremely low risk of transmitting the virus.
The bottom line About 3. Liver function tests might be normal even if hep C has already severely damaged your liver. Just be aware that during treatment, transmission can still occur. There are several medications available to treat chronic hepatitis C. The anti-HCV test looks for these antibodies. People in jails or prisons People who use drugs snorted through the nose in addition to people who inject drugs , People who get an unregulated tattoo If I am pregnant, should I be tested for hepatitis C? Chronic liver disease in people with hepatitis C usually happens slowly, without any signs or symptoms, over several decades. Research into the development of a vaccine for hepatitis C is under way. But, these new medications are very expensive, so oftentimes I have to puzzle over how to get my patients coverage. In those people who develop symptoms from acute infection, the average time from exposure to symptoms ranges from 2 to 12 weeks. Sero-sorting and strategic positioning are strategies that require frank and open conversations including discussion of HIV status. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC clearly states that couples in monogamous heterosexual relationships do not need to use condoms routinely, even if one partner has hepatitis C. The views expressed above are mine alone and not necessarily those of my employer. And these medications work as well even when people are coinfected with HIV. Anal sex is high-risk, though, because rectal tissue is fragile and can easily tear when manipulated or pushed to expand. A reactive antibody test does not necessarily mean a person has hepatitis C. It is also likely that the wearing of condoms is not the most effective strategy to protect against sexual transmission of hep C among gay men, particularly when it is known that the concentration of hep C is semen is typically 10, times lower than in blood Bradshaw, D et al. Yes, many people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus do not know they are infected because they do not look or feel sick. Half of infections go undiagnosed There are estimated to be about 3. Coinfection with HIV also increases the risk of sexual transmission independent of any particular sexual behaviours. What can a person with chronic hepatitis C do to take care of his or her liver? Treatment What is the treatment for acute hepatitis C? Precautions may be considered if a mothers with hepatitis C has cracked or bleeding nipples because there is not enough information on the risks of transmission when this happens. What are the long-term effects of hepatitis C? But if untreated HIV has damaged your immune system, you might be less likely to clear a hep C infection. This includes rough vaginal sex that could cause bleeding from the penis or vagina.
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