[Question #7531] Unsure of risk
4 months ago
Dear Dr, thank u for taking my q. I was in a long distance relationship with a man in Egypt for about 9 years, I am a woman living in UK. Since Egypt has a hepatitis problem I became worried about having hepatitis b/c and passing it to a new partner. Although my previous partner mentioned vaccine for hep B I am worried he may have confused with hep A or just wanted to make me worry less. I am worried about some vaginal penetration without condom, and also one time I thought he tried to penetrate at somewhere other than the vagina by mistake (not sure if was anus) but I said it was not the right place! I never had anal sex or anything and he wouldn't have intended that either. Worried that since men having sex with men have higher risk of hiv/hep b and hep c transmission that might apply to me because of this incident. I did send off a self blood test with a pharmacy company in uk for these infections including syphilis but am so anxious I worried if some mix up happened with the test and I'd be putting a potential partner at risk. I guess what I'm asking is would that incident have increased my risk for those STDs?
I had read before from Dr HHH that STDs like Chlamydia and gonorrhea do not last long in men. My only concern was that I had contact with the bf in Egypt roughly march/April in 2011 and then not again til October/November 2011. I got tested for STDs in between that time as I was worried about infecting him. In the case that I had passed Chlamydia/gonorrhea to him I don't think we could have passed it back and forth to each other after that period of time? I know I have ocd just panicking about hurting potential new partner .thank you so much.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
4 months ago
Welcome to our forum. I’ll do my best to help. It appears that your concerns fall into two general categories: that you may have been exposed to hepatitis B or C through sex with you Egyptian BF and, secondly, that you might have gotten and/or transmitted Gonorrhea or chlamydia from/to him despite your negative tests (in 2011?, not sure why we’re discussing events which occurred nearly 10 years ago).
Let’s deal with hepatitis first. There are 3 major forms of viral hepatitis - A, B, and C. They are each transmitted sexually however there are important differences in how and how often they are transmitted. Hepatitis A is transmitted ingestion of fecal material containing the virus, an event which occurs from time to time when a person performs oral sex on an area contaminated by stool (analingus for instance), most often among men who have sex with other men. Hepatitis B is transmitted relatively efficiently through exposure to genital secretions in a variety of different sorts of sex acts. Vaccination for hepatitis B prevents acquisition of infection. Hepatitis C is very, very rarely sexually transmitted, primarily in the context of receptive rectal intercourse with an infected person and heterosexual transmission is not a meaningful concern. You can easily find out if you have ever had any form of hepatitis with a screening viral hepatitis blood test. Personally, I suspect it is most unlikely the you acquired hepatitis of any sort through the relationship you described.
Regarding your concerns about Gonorrhea and chlamydia, if your tests were negative I would urge you to believe your test results and assume that at the time you were sexually active with your partner that neither of you had Gonorrhea and passed it on between the two of you.
If I have misunderstood your questions or parts of my response are unclear, please use your up to two follow up questions for clarification. EWH---