Can Hep C be Transmitted Through Sexual Contact?

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Hepatitis C is a liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis C virus. This is spread through contact with blood from someone infected. There are many ways that hepatitis C can be spread. For many people, it is a short-term illness; however, more than half of those infected deal with a long-term and more chronic infection, which can result in cirrhosis or even lung cancer. Many people who have hepatitis C often have no symptoms, so it isn't clear they are infected. At Health Services of North Texas, our Denton and Plano, TX health centers have a dedicated infectious disease management team that can provide confidential medical care. Our goal is to help those infected to live a healthy life, regardless of their status.

Signs you may have hepatitis C

Some of the most common symptoms of hepatitis C are:

  • Pain in the abdomen, mostly in the upper right

  • Jaundice

  • Slurred speech

  • Fatigue

  • Rashes

  • Changes in appetite

  • Low platelet count

  • Easy bruising

  • Discolored or dark urine

  • Spider veins

  • Swollen legs or arms

Who is most at risk of getting hepatitis C?

The following people are more at risk for being infected with hepatitis C:

  • Those with HIV

  • Current or former addicts who have injected drugs

  • People who have received blood transfusions or organ transplants

  • Children born to mothers with HCV infection

  • Those who have sex who have an STD, several partners, or have rough sex that may cause them to have an open cut

  • Men and women who share personal care items such as razors, toothbrushes, or nail clippers

You cannot get hepatitis C through breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, coughing, mosquito bites, sharing food or eating utensils, or sneezing.

Can hepatitis C be transmitted sexually?

Hep C is transmitted, mostly, by exposure to blood with the virus. If you’re in a long-term relationship with someone who has it, your risk is quite low, unless you have HIV. However, your risk may be higher if you have sex during your period or have anal sex, which is more likely to cause bleeding. If you’re concerned about hepatitis, our professional medical team at Health Services of North Texas can answer your questions about the chances of getting hep c sexually and other questions you have about the virus.

Hepatitis C testing

During a simple blood test, we look for Anti-HCV antibodies, which are proteins that the body makes when it finds the virus in your blood. This usually occurs about 12 weeks after infection. When your antibody test is positive, we will give you an HCV RNA test, which measures the number of viral RNA material in your blood. This shows up within one to two weeks after infection and will determine if you currently have hepatitis C. For some patients, we may also perform liver function tests to check for possible liver damage.

How we treat Hep C

At Health Services of North Texas, we can treat patients who suspect they may have hepatitis C or have a long-term illness. Whether you have acute or chronic hep C, the symptoms affect your daily life and the health of your liver. To qualify for case management with our experienced medical team, you will need to make an appointment to discuss your health.

Live a healthy life with hepatitis C

Living a healthy life with a long-term virus, such as hepatitis C, doesn’t have to be difficult. Our professional medical team at Health Services of North Texas can help. We have six locations across the state of Texas in Denton, Wylie, and Plano. The Denton and Plano, TX locations specialize in the treatment of hepatitis C. To schedule a confidential appointment at one of our locations, call us today. We offer services on a sliding fee scale for those who have a limited income, or are underinsured or uninsured. We accept most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare.