[Question #4226] How soon can u be tested hep c

31 months ago
Hello i was wondering what the soonest window you can be tested for after potential exposure to hep c. The soonest a test will be accurate 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
31 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question.

In general, testing is conclusive after 6 weeks, but it depends a bit on what test(s) are done. There is no single test.

And we really aren't experts in this area. Contrary to popular belief, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection should not be considered an STD. The only proved frequent sexual transmission scenario is between men having sex with men (especially MSM who already have HIV) and participate in traumatic rectal sexual practices. Even there, the actual mechanism of transmission is primarily blood exposure, not exposure to semen or other body fluids. In heterosexuals, the frequency of HCV is not any higher in the spouses of infected persons than in the genral population, even after several years of unprotected sex. A recent research report calculated that the risk of HCV transmission by vaginal sex, if one partner has the infection, is once for every 190,000 expposure. That's equivalent to have daily sex with infected partner(s) once daily for 520 years before transmission might be likely (i.e. 190,000 divided by 365).

Because sexual transmission is so rare, on this forum we don't keep up with the details of hepatitis C diagnosis. You might get more accurate information from a forum that specializes in hepatitis and liver diseases. But unless you are male who has had rectal sex with another male, probably there is no need for testing at all. If you go ahead with testing anyway, I would suggest waiting until 6 weeks after the event. 

I hope this information is a little bit helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

HHH, MD
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31 months ago
Thank you, 
Does oral change the odds?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
31 months ago
Yes, it reduces chance of contracting hepatitis C from extremely low to absolute zero. There has never been a case known to have been transmitted by oral sex.

Trust me on this: except for potentially injurious rectal sex between men, there is essentially no risk of hep C from sexual exposure. Believe it!
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31 months ago
Perfect. 

This is not a question, I just wanted to thank you and your collegues for this, what you guys are doing; and for so cheap.

Thank you! 
God bless! 


31 months ago
And finally (for the sake of my anxiety) 
Deep kissing, roughly. 
Chances of exposure is also the same as oral and vaginal sex? 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
31 months ago
Hepatitis B and C are rarely if ever transmitted by kissing. Same for all STDs:  no risk from kissing. Oral sex isn't entirely risk free for STDs, but low risk for all and virtually zero risk for some.

Thanks fo the thanks about our services. I'm glad to have helped. Best wishes and stay safe!

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