Hepatitis C

Getting infected with hepatitis C (HCV) is a serious matter. It may lead to liver disease and liver cancer in the long term. Sexually transmitted hepatitis C is most common in HIV-positive homosexual and bisexual men, however there are cases where HIV-negative men have contracted the virus through sex. There is much you can do to limit the chance of infection.

Go directly to:
What is hepatitis C?
Symptoms of hepatitis C
How do you contract hepatitis C?
Reduce the risk of hepatitis C
Testing and treatment

What is hepatitis C?

An infection with hepatitis C (HCV) is a serious matter. It can lead to liver disease and liver cancer in the long term. Even if you are only a 'top', this information is important for you to read.

How much at risk are you for hepatitis C?

HIV-positive men are particularly susceptible to getting hepatitis C during sex. But men who do not have HIV can also get hepatitis C. The virus is especially found with men who (start) using PrEP. The chance that you will run into hepatitis C increases when you

  • are fucked without a condom
  • like fisting or toys

The chance of an infection further increases when you

  • do this during group sex, sex parties or afters
  • use chems

Do you think you are at risk of hepatitis C? Read all about it at NomoreC.nl!

What is the difference between hepatitis A, B and C?

 

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. There is medication to cure this disease. You can get hepatitis C again and again. You can get Hepatitis A and hepatitis B only once. No medication exists for these viruses, but there is a vaccine. Get yourself vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

Symptoms of hepatitis C

In the beginning of the infection, you usually do not have any symptoms. If you do get symptoms, these usually start 2 to 26 weeks after you were infected. Symptoms are usually a bit vague. There is a chance you will get jaundice. One or more of these symptoms could indicate a hepatitis C infection: - less appetite
- nausea and throwing up
- unusual tiredness
- flulike symptoms
- fever (high temperature)
- pain in the abdominal area
- yellow whites of the eyes, yellow skin (jaundice)
- dark urine (the color of cola)
- light colored stools (the color of putty)

If you do not get treatment, chances become higher that you will develop symptoms: - tiredness
- joint and muscle pain
- no appetite
- not feeling well (general malaise)
 

With an advanced infection, symptoms become more serious: - jaundice
- fluids in the abdomen
- consciousness disorders
- bleedings in the esophagus
Some people get 'brain fog'. It appears as though there is a thick fog in your head that makes it impossible to think clearly. Other people might get a depression.

How do you contract hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C is very contagious. Hepatitis C can reside in blood, sperm, rectal fluid and poop particles. Hepatitis C can be transmitted via anal sex. With anal sex, the larger possibility of small (invisible) bleeding probably plays a role. But hepatitis C can also enter the body through small wounds or ulcers (for instance because of an STI). Blood does not always have to be visible.

Infection via materials

Hepatitis C can survive for 6 weeks at room temperature on materials such as steel, plastic, rubber and in lube. It can therefore be transmitted through a dildo, sling or a shared mattress. You can prevent this by disinfecting all the materials during and after sex. Read all about it at NoMoreC.nl.

Sex with multiple men

Your risk of contracting hepatitis C increases when you have sex with multiple partners at the same time or one after the other. Threesomes, moresomes, group sex and orgies: they are the perfect conditions for hepatitis C to spread fast.

Risk factors

Risk factors for hepatitis C are: Sharing
- dildos, toys and anal douches that are not disinfected
- jars of Crisco, bottles of J-Lube or other lubes
- injection needles
- snuff utensils (straws, rolled up banknotes, spoons etc.)
- other attributes to use drugs
- attributes to booty bump
- towels with blood or lube residues
- razors or nail clippers

Not thoroughly degrease or disinfect during sex of
- hands, arms, penis, balls, pubic hair and groin
- toys
- play area


Reduce the risk of hepatitis C

You can limit the risk of hepatitis C by:

  • Use condoms with fucking
  • Make sure no sperm comes into the anus or rectum
  • Use latex gloves and your own lube with fisting
  • Every time you switch partners, make sure to thoroughly degrease and disinfect:
    - Your hands, arms, penis, balls, pubic hair and groin (also do this when you are using gloves and/or condoms)
    - the sling and play area

The top as the 'helping hand'

Unfortunately if you are a total top you can unconsciously play your part in spreading the virus among your sex partners. As a top you hardly have any chance to get infected, but you can transfer the virus from one bottom to the next. In other words, you could be the 'helping hand' of the virus. Think about a situation where you fuck or fist multiple partners one after the other. With fucking it can happen that invisible blood particles of hepatitis C end up in your pubic hair or on your balls. With fisting these blood particles may end up on your arms. Through your body, hepatitis C can be transmitted from one bottom to the next. So make sure that if you are a top, you also know what to do to reduce the risk of transmission.

Testing and treatment of hepatitis C

Testing for hepatitis C

Do you have the kind of sex wher you are at risk of hepatitis C? Get tested every 3 to 6 months. Test an extra time if you have been warned for hep C by a sex partner. Or if you think you might have symptoms of hepatitis C.

Treatment of hepatitis C

Hepatitis C can be cured with medication. The meds you will get are called Direct Acting Agents (DAAs). Treatment with DAAs is very effective and has almost no side effects. In most cases you can start treatment with DAAs 4 to 6 weeks after your infection. Talk to your GP about the possibilities.

For more information about hepatitis C, for example about disinfection, visit NoMoreC.nl. Here you will also read about the free Toolbox you can order to reduce your risk of hepatitis C.

To keep this information up to date, we regularly revise our texts. Last update: November 2020

More about hep C

Get tested online

Preventing Hepatitis B

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