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Author Topic: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex  (Read 5100 times)

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Offline YoungHon

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I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« on: February 25, 2017, 03:56:45 am »
Hi I was hoping maybe I could get some info/advice. Fairly recently (10 weeks ago) I had a brief (lasting only seconds) unprotected episode of insertive anal sex. The person who I had it with does use sex drugs but has never injected drugs or used heroin. About a week later I came down with what seemed like the flu and I  have had on and off recurring cold and flu symptoms (runny and congested nose, nausea and fatigue, aches, mild intermittent abdominal pain etc.) since then. I have tested negative for HIV several times since then and have been told that HIV has definitely been ruled out. I have also had lots of blood work for other things (blood count and immune function, mononucleiosis, bacterial infections and allergies) and everything came back normal. My GP thinks that I have just been continuously catching bad seasonal viruses and that my symptoms don't sound like hep, but I find this hard to believe as until this winter I was a healthy young person and none of this has ever happened to me before and also considering the fact this all started a week after me having unprotected sex with a high-risk person. My last test was at 8 weeks past exposure and I tested negative for all blood borne STDs including HCV.

Do you think it's right of my GP to not suspect hepatitis C as a cause of my symptoms?
If I had been having symptoms for this long, do you think I would have already developed antibodies by the time I tested at 8 weeks?
When do you think I should get tested again? The clinic told me that the window period is 5 months, however I have also read some doctors online saying that the vast majority of people have antibodies by 12 weeks and that you don't need to test past that point
If my partner did have Hep C, would I probably have caught it from him in the manner I described, or would there be a chance that I wouldn't have?
Do you suggest I should try and get a liver function test in order to rule Hep out?
I'm vaccinated against Hep B and a test later showed that the vaccine had worked, does that definitely mean I'm 100% protected against Hep B?

Offline Lynn K

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Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2017, 11:11:41 pm »
You are protected against hep b

While hep c has some risk of sexual transmission especially when practicing rough sex even so the risk is not extremely high.

Greatest risk is for those  with multiple sex partners,  those who engage in rough sex,  and in the presence of HIV.  For those in long-term monogamous relationships the CDC does not recommend the use of barrier protection because the risk of transmission for such couples is  so low.

 To be certain of a definitive anti-body test you should wait for six months post exposure.  From what you said about your partner that they do not used injectable drugs they are a very low risk of having hep c. Have you inquired as to their status? That could be the simplest way to clarify your situation. Hep c requires blood to blood contact for transmission.

 The majority of people infected with hepatitis C do not have symptoms that is why hepatitis C is called the silent illness.

"What are the Signs & Symptoms of Hepatitis C?

Most people (about 70% – 80%) with an acute Hepatitis C infection do not experience any symptoms or show signs of the infection.  If Hepatitis C symptoms do occur, they usually appear within two weeks to six months after being exposed to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). If you do develop symptoms related to Hepatitis C, they’re generally mild and flu-like and may include:

Feeling very tired
Sore muscles
Joint pain
Fever
Nausea or poor appetite
Stomach pain
Itchy skin
Dark urine
A yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, called jaundice."

 Your doctor is a medical expert majority of us here are nearly laypersons people who were once infected with hepatitis C.

 I tend to agree with your doctors observation that it is likely you do not have hepatitis C. If you want to test at six months post this exposure for antibodies to hepatitis C virus if that will put your mind at ease go ahead and have the test done but I sincerely doubt that you were infected with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is not very easily transmitted.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 05:45:53 pm by Lynn K »
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!
I AM FREE!

Offline Lynn K

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  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2017, 11:24:33 pm »
To specifically address your questions remembering I am not a medical person of any type

Do you think it's right of my GP to not suspect hepatitis C as a cause of my symptoms?
Yes a runny nose is a symptom of seasonal colds not hepatitis.

If I had been having symptoms for this long, do you think I would have already developed antibodies by the time I tested at 8 weeks?
In general hep c has no symptoms for most. Antibodies will develop in weeks or months.

When do you think I should get tested again? The clinic told me that the window period is 5 months, however I have also read some doctors online saying that the vast majority of people have antibodies by 12 weeks and that you don't need to test past that point
To save time and money if you feel you need to test wait until 6 months to be entirely confident of your test result. Yes antibodies are often detectable by 12 weeks but for those with an impaired immune system (for example if the person is infected with HIV) it can take up to 6 mo the for enough antibodies to develop to be detectable.

If my partner did have Hep C, would I probably have caught it from him in the manner I described, or would there be a chance that I wouldn't have?
There is a possibility but the odds are not very high although this would be considered rough sex.

Do you suggest I should try and get a liver function test in order to rule Hep out?
Many things can cause a rise in liver function. Many people with hep c have normal liver enzymes I did for my first 11 years of infection as far as I know. The first time I had an above normal result it was more than 11 years after when I believe I was infected.

I'm vaccinated against Hep B and a test later showed that the vaccine had worked, does that definitely mean I'm 100% protected against Hep B?
Yes but no vaccine is 100% effective but close to it.

The person you really should ask your medical questions is a medical professional.
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!
I AM FREE!

Offline YoungHon

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  • Posts: 3
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2017, 02:01:25 am »
Thanks a lot for your reply Lynn, I feel reassured now.

Yes I did inquire about my partner's status and he said that he tested negative for all blood borne pathogens (including Hep C) a couple of weeks after the potential exposure occurred. However I'm not sure this means much seeing as Hep C has such a long window period

Offline Lynn K

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  • Posts: 4,511
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2017, 02:23:11 am »
Not sure  what you mean by long window period. I assume the time it potentially can take for antibodies to develop. But really as I said hep c is not easily transmitted if it was many more people would be infected.

 But anyway the good news that if you should ever become infected with hepatitis C in your lifetime the new treatments discovered in the last few years are highly effective and resulting in cure for approximately 98% of people treated. So even if worst-case senario you ever someday do become infected with hep c all you need to do is treat and be cured. Hepatitis c is not the health concern it once was just a few years ago.

As more people are treated and cured it is conceivable hep c could be eliminated in our lifetime and not a concern for anyone ever again.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 02:25:45 am by Lynn K »
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!
I AM FREE!

Offline andrew j

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  • Posts: 477
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2017, 08:36:54 pm »
You can always get some more tests done in a while if you are concerned.


Offline YoungHon

  • Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2017, 07:47:56 am »
I've now come to the conclusion that there's no point in me getting tested for HCV because I live in the UK where the cure is only accessible to people who have bad long term complications. Is there any point in me knowing I'm infected if I can't get treated/cured? If I do get diagnosed and am unable to be cured and am forced to live with it, I can tell it would lead to severe depression and possibly even suicide given my current mental state, so I feel like I'm better off not knowing.

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,511
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2017, 02:28:33 pm »
You should find out first of all you probably are not infected so you would receive good news instead of worrying about a non existent problem.

Second if on the odd chance you do have hep c this would make you aware of the neeed to be carful around other people if you get a cut to avoid the risk of infecting someone else. We are reminded to avoid sharing toothbrushes and personal items like fingernail clippers or razors. So you would know if you need to do that. Also you would know that you need to do what you can to avoid things that can harm your liver plus you would be monitored by a doctor so if you do begin to develop damage they can then get you treatment.

However there are ways to get treated even for those without liver damage but first you need to know if you need treatment.

But seriously I doubt you have hep c. Your doctor said you don't have hep c you likely do not have hep c you are causing yourself unnecessary anxiety and pain.

Worrying is infinitely worse than knowing

Don't borrow worry about a tomorrow that may never come.

You said you are in a depressed mental state currently I urge you to please seek out help immediately. Even if you have hep c this is nothing to become severely depressed over. I lived with hep c for many years most of us here did and many others here were recently diagnosed and afraid.

Please speak with a mental health professional for your depression

My best wishes to you and sending you a long distance hug from the other side of the world.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 02:32:59 pm by Lynn K »
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!
I AM FREE!

Offline andrew j

  • Member
  • Posts: 477
Re: I think I may have acquired Hep C through anal sex
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 05:31:54 pm »
Hi YoungHon,

... Try not to worry - and certainly not about whether or not you have Hep C.
Hep C tends to be a slow-moving thing - and access to treatment is getting better all the time.
Sure, it's not perfect - but it's way better than it was - and, crucially - Drs are now generally more engaged with the problem.
If you want or need treatment, and can't get access - generics may be an option for you.

It sounds like an unfortunate coincidence of events to me: getting unwell soon after having unsafe sex.
You have obviously been given a fright - and I'm really sorry about that.

In some ways you are trying to deal with probabilities, I guess?
From what you have said - the likelihood is that you'll be fine.

If there are other issues - get more blood-tests done - and / or talk to your Dr.
I've found (I'm in New Zealand) that if I tell Drs or specialists how I'm feeling - they will usually go some extra distance for me. They are carers after all.

Anyway - I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you - and hope that you are doing OK.

Best wishes,
A.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 08:32:38 pm by andrew j »

 


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