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Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

"Ask the Experts": If I Get Tested for HIV, Should I Also Get Tested for Hepatitis C?

The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.

Should I test for Hepatitis C if I have been tested for HIV?
Apr 4, 2013

Apologies if this has been answered, but I could not find a direct answer. I have been tested numbers of times for HIV, and they have come back negative. A few years ago, I had a partner who came back HIV positive. After that relationship ended I went to get tested for HIV, and as stated it came back negative. Because this individual was HIV positive, should I get tested for Hepatitis C als?, just in case. I would imagine if I was not infected by HIV, I would not have a Coinfection. But I'm not sure if Hepatitis can be transmitted seperate to HIV on this occasion with this partner.

Response from Dr. Taylor

Hep C is rarely spread through sex unless among HIV-infected gay men and other men who have sex with men. So if you are a man who has/had sex with men, yes I suggest getting a hep C test. Again, hep C is rarely spread through heterosexual sex.

Hep C is more infectious than HIV through blood exposures, so if you ever injected drugs, shared straws to snort cocaine, or live in a part of the world where there are not always sterile medical procedures, I suggest getting a hep C test.

Return to our full listing of answers to patients' frequently asked questions regarding hepatitis C transmission, testing, management and treatment.





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