September #39 : Blood Lines - by Bob Roehr

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Table of Contents

Talking 'Bout Their Generation

Youth to Youth

Bargaining Power

Growing Up in Public

Liver Worst

Family Tree

Blood Lines


To the Editor

And on the 7th Day...

In the Sack

Vertex Vortex

Pump and Grind

Baby Gap

You Can’t Touch This

Aloe Can You Go?

Death by Bureaucracy

Bubonic Tonic

Say What

Say What

All Apologies

Plenty of Nothing

Rough Cuts

POZ Picks

Spin and Needles

No Miss Manners

HIV Confidential

Making a Scene


Presidential Nemesis

Are the Kids Alright?

Kid Gloves

Prime-Time Lives

Don’t Make Me Over

Confessions of a Jerk

Life Lessons

Quality Time

Valuable Kitchen Tool

Better Safe Than Sushi

The Heart of the Matter

To C or Not to C

The Circle Game

Youth on Drugs


Making the Grade

Finger on the Pulses

Fountain of Youth

Where to find it

Reality Check


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

September 1998

Blood Lines

by Bob Roehr

Hep C's spread

Blood is the most common means for transmitting hepatitis C. With blood products now screened for the virus, dirty needles have become the major source of new infections. A consensus development conference at the National Institutes of Health produced this advice to prevent the spread of the hepatitis C virus:

  • Don't share "works" for injecting drugs.
  • Make sure needles used for piercing and tattooing have been sterilized.
  • Don't share razors, toothbrushes or straws used to snort cocaine.
  • Cover open wounds.

There are conflicting data on the risk of sexual transmission, but the CDC found the risk so low that it chose not to recommend universal condom use for people with HCV. The exception is rough sex where bleeding takes place. And there's some evidence that rimming (oral-anal sex) may be risky.

Pregnant women have only a small risk of passing the virus to their newborns, but that climbs into double digits when they are co-infected with HIV. Delivery by Cesarean section lowers this risk of transmission.

Co-infection with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases in either partner may increase the possibility of HCV transmission.

What about a preventive vaccine? The pharmaceutical company Chiron recently began an early-stage safety trial, but any marketable product is years away.

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