Hepatitis C is transmitted primarily by exposure to blood containing the hepatitis C virus. Current research suggests that if you're in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a partner who has hepatitis C, your risk of contracting hepatitis C is quite low — unless you also have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
For monogamous couples, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't recommend routine condom use to prevent hepatitis C transmission. But couples should avoid sharing razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers, and should also avoid having intercourse during menstruation.
Your risk of contracting hepatitis C increases significantly if you have HIV. Also, the risk of transmission is higher if you have multiple short-term sexual relationships with partners who have hepatitis C. Under these circumstances, the CDC recommends routine condom use to reduce your risk of transmission.
If you're concerned about hepatitis C, talk to your doctor. Hepatitis C can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. Treatment may include medications to help clear the virus from the bloodstream and ultimately cure you of hepatitis C.
Jan. 25, 2018
See more Expert Answers
- Hepatitis C FAQs for health professionals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/HCVfaq.htm. Accessed Nov. 2, 2017.
- Bennett JE, et al, eds. Hepatitis C. In: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, P.A.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 2, 2017.
- Emerging issues, hepatitis C: Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, 2015. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/emerging.htm. Accessed Nov. 2, 2017.