Hepatitis C virus rarely transmitted through sex between monogamous heterosexuals
HEPATOLOGY, Published on March 19, 2013

Individuals infected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have nothing to fear from sex in a monogamous, heterosexual relationship. Transmission of HCV from an infected partner during sex is rare according to new research published in the March issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD).


Incidence of sexually transmitted hepatitis C virus infection in HIV-positive MSM: a systematic review and meta-analysis;
Holly Hagan, Ashly E. Jordan, Joshua Neurer and Charles M. Cleland; AIDS 2015, 29:000–000

Reinfection postsuccessful HCV treatment (n 1⁄4 2 studies) was 20 times higher than initial seroconversion rates. The high reinfection rates and the attributable risk analysis suggest the existence of a subset of HIV-positive MSM with recurring sexual exposure to HCV.


Diverse Sexual Practices; HIV Counselor Perspectives, Volume 10, Number 4 July 2001;
UCSF AIDS Health Project

There are many different ways of having sex, and different people have their own preferences for sexual activities. Although some sexual activities pose a high risk for HIV infection because they involve potential contact with bodily fluids such as blood, other activities may place participants at risk because of the particular dynamics of the situation.


Sexual Activity as a Risk Factor for Hepatitis C;
Norah A. Terrault; HEPATOLOGY, November 2002

The accumulated evidence indicates that hepatitis C virus (HCV) can be transmitted by sexual contact but much less efficiently than other sexually transmitted viruses, including hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).


Vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus: Current knowledge and perspectives;
Chun-Yan Yeung, Hung-Chang Lee, Wai-Tao Chan, Chun-Bin Jiang, Szu-Wen Chang, Chih-Kuang Chuang; World J Hepatol 2014 September 27; 6(9): 643-651

Following the introduction of blood product screening, vertical transmission becomes the leading cause of childhood HCV infection. The prevalence of pediatric HCV infection varies from 0.05% to 0.36% in developed countries and between 1.8% and 5% in the developing world. All children born to women with anti- HCV antibodies should be checked for HCV infection.


Alarming Incidence of Hepatitis C Virus Re-Infection. After Treatment of Sexually Acquired Acute Hepatitis C Virus Infection in HIV-Infected MSM,
Femke A.E. Lambers, AIDS 2011, Vol 25 No 17

In the last decade, the sudden increase in incidence of acute hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) among HIV infected MSM in Europe, Australia and the United States has led to a substantial number of studies on this new public health problem. It has become clear that transmission takes place in specific clusters of HIV infected MSM engaging in high-risk sexual behaviour

Prevalence of Hepatitis C In A Swiss Sample of Men Who Have Sex With Men: Whom To Screen For HCV Infection?
Schmidt et al. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:3

While the numbers of hepatitis-C-virus (HCV) infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) who are co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are on the rise, with vast evidence for sexual transmission of HCV in this population, concerns have also been raised regarding sexual HCV-transmission among MSM without HIV infection. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C among MSM without HIV diagnosis in Zurich (Switzerland).

HIV, HBV, and HCV Molecular Epidemiology Among Trans (Transvestites, Transsexuals, and Transgender) Sex Workers in Argentina,
Mauricio Carobene et al., Journal of Medical Virology 86:64–70 (2014)

Commercial sex work is frequent among maleto-female transvestites, transsexuals and transgenders in Argentina, leading to high susceptibility to HIV, HBV, and HCV among other sexually transmitted infections. In a global context of scarce data on the trans sex workers population, this study was aimed to study the genomic characterization of these viruses.

Clustering of HCV Coinfections on HIV Phylogeny Indicates Domestic and Sexual Transmission of HCV,
Roger D Kouyos et al., International Journal of Epidemiology, 2014, 1–10

HCV coinfection remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected individuals and its incidence has increased dramatically in HIV-infected men who have sex with men(MSM).

Hepatitis C Virus Incidence in the Amsterdam Cohort Study among Men who have Sex with Men; 1984-2011
Joost W. Vanhommeri et al., CROI 2014

Since 2000, an epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has emerged among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM). No incident HCV infections were recorded among HIV-uninfected MSM, despite >10,000 years of follow-up. However, HCV incidence rates among HIV-infected MSM indicated a marked increase from 2000-2005. Thereafter, HCV incidence stabilized at around 12/1,000 person-years. Researchers determined that the levelling off might be explained by an increase in HCV testing and treatment uptake, risk reduction, and a saturation-effect among MSM at highest risk for HCV infection.

Increase in HCV Incidence among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Amsterdam Most Likely Caused by Sexual Transmission,
Thijs J. W. van de Laar et al., The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2007; 196:230–8

Even in the presence of HIV coinfection, HCV is rarely transmitted by heterosexual intercourse. HCV-serodiscordant partners in longterm monogamous heterosexual relationships show only slightly higher rates of HCV infection than the general population. Data obtained from men who have sex with men (MSM) are more conflicting. Previous cross-sectional and cohort studies have reported increased HCV prevalence among MSM and have highlighted unprotected anal intercourse, multiple sex partners, rough sexual techniques, and coinfection with HIV-1 and other sexually transmitted infections as potential risk factors.

Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus among Patients Attending Sexually Transmitted Diseases Clinics in Baltimore-An Analysis of 309 Sex Partnerships,
David L. Thomas et al., The Journal of Infectious Diseases 1995;171:768-75

The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), the behavioral and laboratory derived risk factors for anti-HCY, and the quantity and homology of HCY RNA were assessed among 1039 non-injection drug-using sexually transmitted disease (STD) patients representing 309 sex partnerships.

Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Among Monogamous Heterosexual Couples: The HCV Partners Study,
Norah A. Terrault et al., HEPATOLOGY, March 2013

The efficiency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission by sexual activity remains controversial. We conducted a cross-sectional study of HCV-positive subjects and their partners to estimate the risk for HCV infection among monogamous heterosexual couples. A total of 500 anti–HCV-positive, human immunodeficiency virus–negative index subjects and their long term heterosexual partners were studied.

Sexual Transmission of Hepatitis C,
Alan Francisus, Editor-in-Chief, HCV Advocate, www.hcvadvocate.org

Getting HCV by having sex with someone does not happen very often. But we know that it is possible to give or get blood-borne viruses, like HCV, during sex. HCV is not usually found in body fluids like semen or vaginal fluids. If it is there, it is in very small amounts. If someone is in a long-term relationship with a person who has hepatitis C, there is only a small chance (up to 3% over 20 years) that they could get hepatitis C from their sexual partner.

Vertical transmission of hepatitis C: Systematic review and meta-analysis,
Lenka Benova et al., Clinical Infectious Disease, June 13, 2014

We conducted a systematic review of estimates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) vertical transmission risk to update current estimates published over a decade ago.