VA’s message to vets with HCV

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.

pointing finger

“Protect others

“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. 

BDSM Safer Kinky Sex

This booklet contains practical guidelines and advice on the prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism (BDSM) play. It is an introduction to safer BDSM play and is designed to provide you with information to help reduce your risks.

If sexually explicit information about BDSM activities might offend you, then this information is not for you.

Download page:

Go right to the booklet:

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.

About Laura

NW Vermont.
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4 Responses to VA’s message to vets with HCV

  1. Kiedove says:

    Mikey, The VA and government has manipulated the research studies so that everyone would believe that veterans (and the general public) were infected with HCV because they were shooting up drugs and not due to unsterile medical practices and products before and after screening became available. IDU and unsterile medical practices are extremely efficient ways to transmit the virus. But there are other less efficient mechanisms (like sex) that the US government is being forced to acknowledge because scientists work together in international cultures, and publish their conclusions and evidence on the open internet and in closed academic databases. So now they are adding sexual contact as part of prevention education–something that should have happened years ago.
    If you had a transfusion, and it was contaminated, that blood bag contained a massive amount of virus particles. Transfusions of any blood product are the highest risk procedure. A whole generation of hemophiliacs worldwide are dead because of transfusions. In 1997, that blood should have been screened but there is no such thing as zero risk. If you could connect with other veterans who had transfusions at the same time and place, and were infected with HCV, maybe you could sue. Maybe you can find out via Freedom of Information Act to see how many veterans also had transfusions in the same place and general time, were later diagnosed with HCV and see it there is an association. How many veterans received blood transfusions at _______ in 1997-98 and were later diagnosed with HCV infection? Data may be in the National Clinical Case Registry for hepatitis C virus or some other VA database.

    • Mikey says:

      Red Cross was fined millions of dollars as late as last year on unsafe handling/processing procedures that caused thousands of people to be at risk of getting HIV or Hep C.Back in Jan of 1999 when I had my first blood test post surgery that tested positive for hep C. I asked for information on the blood donor since the serial number was on my records. Sometimes there is a 90 day period a person with newly acquired Hep C could give blood with testing positive.No one would give me a yes or no answer. If the donor retested negative for hep C you’d think they would jump at giving me that proof.Never happened tho requested such info many times. Since this happened day before and day after Thanksgiving, I thought someone might have gotten T-day lazy and didn’t do a good cleaning between surgeries. I asked if anyone had Hep C who had surgery prior to my two colonoscopies ( first surgery to remove pollups,2nd to fix bleeder) Again they never answered me.If I was the VA these things are the first things I would jump at to prove my innocence.Again Never happened. Since my Dr at the time was head of staff, I believed him that I had no options. Until I found out otherwise 13 yrs later.In 1995 I had 5 surgeries,2 outside of VA system. All had pre lab test that tested negative for Hep C. Along with full blood screen by Health Dept done in 1992 again showed no sign of Hep C.That convinces me that I had no Hep C prior to 1997.Too late for a jury!! But the scales show the truth and Dr Cecil agrees! Mikey

      • Kiedove says:

        It sounds like you were victimized repeatedly by a doctor you trusted and the system. Trust your own timeline.

  2. Mikey says:

    It’s amazing how they can talk out of both sides of the mouth.They deny my getting Hep C by transfusion or dirty colonoscopy equipment in 1997. They try to say I got it in the 70’s.Yet Two wives many years later and NEVER used a condom while married(lol).Neither of them ever got Hep C.One fact is last marriage ended in 1992( 5 years before I believe I got it).So their condom theory helps proves my claim of WHEN I got Hep C.Maybe they will admit to the truth once Congress starts making them pay interest on claim denied falsely! Mikey

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