Can Hepatitis C be Transmitted Sexually??

Dear Couch,

I found out a year ago that I have Hepatitis C. I don't know how I contracted it, I have never engaged in any of the at risk behavior. My boyfriend and I have started getting more serious in terms of sexual behavior and I'm terrified of giving it to him. He knows I have it, but most information on it isn't too clear about how it can be transmitted sexually. I have read a lot but it usually ends up discussing B rather than C. My doctor told me that it is fine to engage in oral sex with out protection, but I'm just not sure. Also, what about unprotected sex--is that risky?

Thank you

Dear Loving but Caring,

The majority of literature seems to vaguely conclude that Hepatitis C sexual transmission between monogamous couples is rare. There is always a chance, as Hep C is transmitted by blood to blood contact. So remember this in regards to your oral sex activity. If you're having your menses, then it's probably not a good idea for your boyfriend to eat you out if he has a cracked lip or the like and just to be safe we'd advise a condom during intercourse. Most material we've looked at sounds like the authors want to say Hep C is not transmitted sexually but play it safe by saying ' there is a small chance' . You sound like a smart person and have a fair understanding of how the virus is spread so keep using your common sense and learning about your condition. For an informative book, try Living With Hepatitis C: A Survivors Guide.

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