Saturday, September 23, 2017

27 Viruses Can Be Found In Semen - What About The Hepatitis C Virus?

NPR today published an article that indicates some 27 viruses can be found in semen, according to a report in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The research letter is available over at the CDC's website: The Breadth of Viruses in Human Semen.

The hepatitis C virus was included in the list of 27 viruses, as it should be, however, many of the viruses were lacking data on risk of sexual transmission. Experts believe that sexual transmission of HCV is low among monogamous heterosexual couples, as reported in this 2013 study and cited in the above mentioned list.

Listen to Drs. Stephen A. Harrison and Norah A. Terrault discuss the 2013 HCV partners study, available on the AASLD website.

Recommended Reading

September 13, 2017
Researchers identify 27 viruses that can persist in semen
“Given these findings, the following questions need to be addressed: which viruses are shed and remain viable in semen, for how long, and at what concentrations? The answers to these questions have implications for risks for sexual transmission and, therefore, embryonic infection, congenital disease, miscarriage, and effects on epidemiologic transmission models,” the researchers wrote.
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Last update: Reviewed September 2017
Sexual Transmission Of HCV
According to AASLD IDSA HCV Guidance:
Persons with HIV infection and those with multiple sexual partners or sexually transmitted infections should be encouraged to use barrier precautions to prevent sexual transmission. Other persons with HCV infection should be counseled that the risk of sexual transmission is low and may not warrant barrier protection.
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Last Updated: Sep 8, 2017
Hepatitis C Transmission
Risk of transmission of HCV is possible but rare when a non-infected person comes in sexual contact with a person with HCV. Less than 1% per year of a relationship risk exists due to sexual transmission of HCV. The rates however rise significantly if the infected partner has a co-infection with HIV as well.
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September 23, 2017
Here is the article published today over at NPR.

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