It’s a little late for this advice but here it is: The VA advises veterans that people with HCV should use a condom every time one has sex.
“If you have hepatitis C, you can give the virus to other people. This is true even if you are feeling perfectly fine.
To protect others from getting hepatitis C, follow these rules:
- Do not donate blood, body organs, tissues, or sperm.
- Do not let anyone else use your razor, toothbrush, or other personal care items.
- Cover open cuts or sores on your skin with a bandage until they have healed.
- Don’t inject drugs. If you are currently injecting drugs, talk with your VA doctor about trying to stop. If you can’t stop, don’t ever share your needles or works with anyone else.
- Practice safer sex. Use a latex barrier, such as a condom (or rubber) every time you have sex. Using condoms also reduces your chances of getting sexually transmitted diseases.
Following the above suggestions also can help protect you from other diseases, such as HIV or AIDS and hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor if you would like more information about these conditions.”
Can an infected female pass HCV via her blood (menses, vaginal mucous membrane tears) to a male during intercourse. Yes. Can an infected male pass HCV via passive blood in sperm during anal intercourse to a male of female. Yes.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) get more explicit messages from public health campaigns in other countries. This Australian link, with its S&M leather imagery may be offensive to some readers but is tame compared to the following information.
The CDC considers sadomasochism a disease (page 68) but doesn’t mention it again on their website to educate its high-risk practitioners about blood-borne pathogen transmission. The Dept. of Health and Human Services is also silent. The government of Canada has tackled BDSM by producing a very graphic online booklet. I’m providing the link below this warning but heed the warning if you don’t want to read and view very disturbing stuff.
If sexually explicit information about BDSM activities might offend you, then this information is not for you.
Download page: http://www.catie.ca/en/resources/bdsm-safer-kinky-sex
Go right to the booklet: http://library.catie.ca/pdf/ATI-20000s/26131.pdf
It’s hard to conceive of people thinking of SM blood sports like cutting and piercing with needles, scalpels, and knives as play instead of abuse. I have no clue how big this sub-culture is but there is no doubt that this is an extremely high-risk group for HCV and other viral injections. Sorry for offending anyone but we’re all adults and this is a public health issue.