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Author Topic: Hep C Pipe Transmission?  (Read 7593 times)

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Offline lost

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  • Posts: 1
Hep C Pipe Transmission?
« on: May 20, 2016, 02:34:41 pm »
Am I at risk for contracting Hepatitis C? 3 days ago I had several potential transmission events with a woman of unknown HCV status, but in a risk group for it (been in prison, homeless, DIY tatoos & sex worker). Over the course of several hours we shared 6 pipe hits of methamphetamine from a glass crack pipe, with post-hit mouth-to-mouth smoke sharing. Additionally, we made an improvised pipe for smoking pot out of a soda can that we back-and-forth shared 4 times. We did not have any contact outside of that shared drug use. I thought nothing of potential transfer events at the time, but I've since found this paper which reports: out of 51 crack users, 22 were positive for the HCV antibody,  1 of their total 51 pipes tested positive for hepatitis C; the pipe that tested positive for Hep C came from a user with oral sores (Fischera 2007). I frequently bite my lips, and they were definitely chapped that day. The glass pipe we shared had no sharp edges, BUT the soda can pop tab was sharp. I didn't notice any blood, but I am a nervous wreck about the whole thing ... thinking maybe there were tiny cuts and minuscule blood transfer happened. Am I being crazy? How likely is a transfer in this event? I know that needlestick transfer events result in Hep C transfer only 1.8% of the time (according to the CDC). Can someone give me an unbiased opinion on all of this? This is the most reckless thing I've ever done ...

Fischera 2007 Hepatitis C virus transmission among oral crack users: viral detection on crack paraphernalia
CDC Exposure to Blood Pamphlet http://www.cdc.gov/HAI/pdfs/bbp/Exp_to_Blood.pdf

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Hep C Pipe Transmission?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 01:40:58 am »
All I can say with confidence is your odds are likely lower than the accidental needle stick scenario of 1.8%

The first resource you listed said 1 pipe in a sample 51 pipes 2% tested positive for hep c so given that hep c is difficult to contract and in this very small sampling 2% of pipes had hep c  it would seem the risk is theoretical and very low but not non existent.

Hep c requires blood to blood contact. Hep c infected blood needs to come into contact with an open wound i.e. one that is wet and weeping. If worried you can be tested 6 months after this concerning event to be confident of results.

However, if you ever do test positive hep c is now very curable so still no reason to worry. Get tested, get treated, and get cured. Hep c is a very slowly acting illness taking decades to cause significant liver damage in most people if ever. Only about 20% of people infected for 20 years will develop liver cirrhosis the remaining 80% won't.

Good luck to you
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!


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