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Re: Sex and hep c
May 26, 2006
Hi all,

There is no vaccine for hep c. I wish there were.
there are no anti-virals considered effective against hcv except the forms of interferon we have all heard of. the most advanced of these are the pegylated forms, pegasys being the currently most popular choice. none are entirely satisfactory, but they are a lot better than what we had five or so years ago.

many of us who have had hep c for years (or decades, in my case) in fact did first hear something was wrong when we were told we had 'non-a, non-b' hepatitis. in my case, i was told this when my blood was rejected for donation back in the 80's.

the research on sexual transmission seems more clear each year, but there is till no absolutely clear answer to guide each case. what we know is: yes it can be transmitted through sexual contact, but no, this does not seem to occur very often. yes, the virus is found in tears, semen, saliva, and every bodily fluid tested to date, but no, we don't know for sure whether any of these carry a risk--if so, it is probably a small one, or cases would have left a clearer trail by now. Viral load is not considered a useful mesure of disease intensity or progression, but IS considered a risk factor. that is, a higher viral load does seem correlated to increased chance of transmission to others.

And, intensive research (mine) also reveals that very very few carriers tell anyone until after they've had some serious intimacy. Sorry, its just true.
That does not change the fact that no one should be having UNprotected sex and also not telling--that strikes me as irresponsible for sure. But, things happen, so .....be prepared!

I have been infected for something over 40 years (as far as we can figure out), due to acting like a bad kid back in the sixties. I have since t hen been married to three different women, have fathered a houseful (now emptier) of children including two two (you read that correctly) year olds most recently. Expecially since nobody even knew there wsa a virus like this for 30 of those 40 years, you can imagine that we followed essentially NO preventive practices--condoms, toothbrushes, razors, etc. My viral load has been in the few millions since I started getting tested for it several years ago, and yet, none of my spouses nor children tests positive.

I think hep c is contagious, in other words, but only slightly so. nonetheless, all of us have varying immunities to varyious pathogens, so nothing is certain.

SO, it can happen, be aware and be responsible. But, don't be paranoid--take reasonable precautions, as everyone should be doing nowadays anyway, but don't be scared. Making love to an hep c person will not kill anyone. Probably.

hope this helps.

sean





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