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).
The maximum incidence rate of HCV transmission by sex was 0.07% per year
or roughly 1 per 190,000 sexual contacts that researchers based upon
8377 person-years of follow-up. The team did not identify any specific
sexual practices linked to HCV infections among the couples. “Our study
provides clinicians with important information for counseling chronic
HCV patients in long-term sexual relationships, supporting the current
recommendations that couples not change their sexual practices if they
are in a monogamous heterosexual relationship,” concludes Dr. Terrault.