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But the liver -destroying disease can also sometimes be spread through sexual contact. How many kinds of viral hepatitis are there? Scientists have identified at least five types of viral hepatitis that lead to liver problems. In the U.
Hepatitis A spre via fecal-oral contact, which can occur if there is direct oral-anal contact or contact with fingers or objects that have been in or near the anus of an infected person.
If even a microscopic amount of virus-laden feces gets into the mouth, infection potentially can result. HBV has been found in vaginal secretions, salivaand semen. Oral sex and especially anal sexwhether it occurs in a heterosexual or homosexual context, are possible ways of transmitting the virus.
It is not transmitted by holding hands, hugging, or even dry kissing on the lips. The chance of transmission with deep kissing is unknown, as no infections have been definitively documented after exposure to infected saliva. Yet, since HBV has been found in saliva, the risk of transmission with deep kissing probably exists and the risk increases if one partner wears orthodontic braces or has open cuts or sores in the mouth.
The likelihood of becoming infected with HBV grows with the of sexual partners a person has. Thus, promiscuous individuals are more likely to get HBV. HCV has been detected with greater-than-average frequency among people who have a history of sexual promiscuity -- which can be defined as a history of a sexually transmitted disease, sex with a prostitute, more than five sexual partners per year, or a combination of these. A person who is in a long-term monogamous relationship with an HCV-infected person rarely contracts this virus.
However, it is important to note that this statistic is based on indirect evidence only. Therefore, whether these people became infected through a sexual act or by another route is unclear.
For example, people in long-standing relationships generally care for one another in times of illness or injury. During such times, HCV may be transmitted to the spouse or partner, because the couple may not be as cautious about avoiding contact with blood. Men who have sex with men are 10 to 15 times more likely than the general population to be infected with hepatitis B. There is no surefire symptom or to indicate that someone has hepatitis.
Some infected people look perfectly healthy even in advanced stages of illness. Experts recommend talking openly with sex partners about the risk of hepatitis and other sexually transmitted infections. Of course, if you notice that someone has yellowing of the skin or eyes a condition known as jaundiceconsider that a red flag. Other symptoms of hepatitis include fever, fatigueloss of appetite, nauseavomitingt or abdominal painand clay-colored bowel movements.
Blood tests are available to help determine if someone has hepatitis that could spread through sex. Any sexual activity that might cause abrasions, cuts, or other trauma is especially risky. Anal sex is thought to be more risky than vaginal sex.
And both forms of sex are more risky than oral sex. Oral-anal contact is also risky. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Catching hepatitis by kissing an infected person is unlikely -- although deep kissing that involves the exchange of large amounts of saliva might result in HBV, especially if there are cuts or abrasions in the mouth of the infected person. Immersing the vibrator in boiling water may reduce the risk.
But the safest advice is to avoid the use of these products until your sexual partner is vaccinated. How effective are condoms at stopping sexual transmission of hepatitis? Some experts recommend sticking with a plain condom. Flavored or scented condoms may be more likely to fail. Hepatitis Reference. Can all types be spread by sexual contact?
Are men and women equally at risk of getting and spreading hepatitis through sex? How can I make sure my partner is free of hepatitis before we have sex? Are some sex acts especially likely to transmit hepatitis? Is it possible to catch hepatitis from kissing?
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