Many people have asked the question as to what are the chances of getting Hep C sexually and this article will attempt to answer the question in a succinct and to the point manner that will envelop the entire spectrum of hepatitis viruses A, B and C so that most of the ground is covered and that satisfactory answers are given to this question.
How is HCV spread?
Before we delve into the question of the possibility of hepatitis C being transmitted through sex, we should explore the way HCV is spread in the community.
It’s been accepted that HCV is a blood-borne disease which means that the transmission when the blood of a virus free individual comes into contact with the blood of someone infected by hepatitis C.
So it’s obvious then that its basically contact between bloods and bodily fluids that helps to transmit the Hep C virus when they come together with one side having been infected by hepatitis C in the first instance.
However, some activities tend to hasten the transmission through direct contact with some medium such as the sharing of equipment for injection and non-injection drugs. Here, needles, crack pipes and cocaine straws.
Body piercing practices, flesh piercing tattooing needles and even acupuncture needles are also equipment that can help transmit the hepatitis C virus from the bloodstream of the host body to the recipient.
The practice of sharing razors and toothbrushes or even sharing nail files – which may be less likely to help the spread of Hep C – can also be a potential path for the Hep C spread. It’s been the case that many people were infected with HCV from blood transfusions.
Fortunately, a reliable test was devised in 1992 which led to the introduction of safe blood donating practices and people now have a very slim chance (.001%) of contracting HCV through receiving infected blood.
What of transmitting HCV through sexual activity?
While it’s generally accepted that certain types of sexual activity can and do transmit the Hep C virus, medical experts can vouch that only in very rare cases has semen been found floating in both vaginal fluids and semen.
Many researches have affirmed this finding suggesting that not only is the Hep C virus rarely found in these two bodily fluids, but that if the virus was indeed found, its presence would be so insignificant as to render it totally noninfectious.
The majority of experts are convinced there is a very low risk of HCV being transmitted through sexual activity. Studies show that only a very small percentage ranging from 0-3% have ever contracted HCV through normal sexual activity.
To render the results more convincing, this particular study was taken over the long term heterosexual unprotected sexual relations between two couples with one of the partners having a HCV positive condition.
From this particular study, Health Canada health experts estimated that the risk of contracting Hep C from the sexual union would be a low 2.5% over a 20 year period. Now that’s consistently low.
Some more points to ponder on sexual transmission of Hep C
Here are some more pertinent points in connection with the sexual transmission of Hep C backed by study results:
- Men to women transmissions of Hep C during sexual activity, is much stronger than transmissions of the virus from women to men.
- There’s more risk of sexual transmission during sexual activity during a woman’s menstrual period because of the blood-to-blood contact.
- Safer sex should be practiced by people who have multiple partners.
- The transmission of Hep C appears to be more common within high risk groups such as prostitutes, multi-sex partner groups, gay men and others. These groups actually highlight the point that the disease can and is being transmitted. Even so it’s still difficult to determine at what rate the incidents of transmissions are occurring.
- Not enough study has been carried out on the transmission of Hep C as a result of sexual activities of men with men and women with women. Nevertheless, numerous studies have proved that the incident of Hep C transmission within gay men circles is higher, but whether this can be attributed to sexual activities is not conclusive. Hep C transmission may take place more through anal sex than vaginal sex as the tissue of the rectum are much more susceptible to rupture and release of blood to come into contact with tissues in a sex partner.
- No evidence has proved that HCV transmission has ever taken place through oral sex on a male or a female. Nevertheless it may be possible for Hep C to be transmitted if a sex partner has sores in the mouth, throat infection or bleeding gums.
- Equally no evidence has been discovered that Hep C may be transmitted through all types of kissing, whether open-mouthed, deep kissing or even kissing the “French” way. Nevertheless transmission may still be possible if a partner or both have infection of the throat, gum bleed or sores in the mouth.
Which hepatitis virus can be transmitted during sexual activity?
The succinct and accurate answer to this question in that Hepatitis A, B and C can be transmitted sexually or when couples engage in sexual activity. Let’s have a look at each type of hepatitis C virus and their sexual transmission:
- Hepatitis A: The most common route taken by hepatitis A is the fecal-oral path, the disease is also capable of being transmitted as a result of any type of sexual engagement. It has also been found that the use of condoms will not prevent the transmission of hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B: In the United States the most common means for transmitting hepatitis B is by sexual contact. When compared with HIV, hepatitis B can be more likely transmitted sexually by up to 100 times more than HIV.
Vaccination may arrest the transmission and so people who haven’t been vaccinated who engage in risky sex behavior such as engaging in sex activities with many sex partners and have sexual relations with men possess a higher risk being infected with hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C: Sexual activity may also act as a means of transmitting Hepatitis C between or among individuals. It must always be borne in mind that such transmissions are highly rare.
Nevertheless, a high incidence of hepatitis C transmission may be found where individuals engage in unprotected sexual activities and also that those who take part in such sexual activities are also infected with other STD diseases such as HIV.
While sex activity may be thoroughly enjoyable, it’s definitely possible to contract Hep C while engaging in it, which clearly answers the question, what are the chances of getting Hep C sexually ?In view of this eventuality, the best counter action against contracting HCV is to establish long term relations with a reliable online pharmacy that provides excellent medications for the virus.