Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus

Patient

Q: Can i infect someone with hep c from kissing? Is it true that if you only have one sex partner the chances of transmition are so low there is no need for condoms

Doctor

A:   Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is predominantly transmitted by means of exposure to infected blood, such as in a blood transfusion. However, screening of blood donors for HCV antibody has been carried out since 1990, which has decreased the risk of infection dramatically. In developed countries, most new HCV infections are related to intravenous drug abuse (IVDA). HCV may also be transmitted by means of acupuncture, tattooing, and sharing razors. Needlestick injuries in the healthcare setting result in a 3% risk of HCV transmission. Alternate routes of transmission in healthcare include; contaminated colonoscope, via dialysis, or during surgery, including organ transplantation before 1992. 5% of the individuals infected with HCV, acquire infection secondary to high-risk sexual activity (unprotected sex) and maternal-fetal transmission. Casual household contact and contact with the saliva of those infected are inefficient modes of transmission. .

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