It is estimated that up to 5% of gay men and men who have sex with other men have hep C, compared with 1% of the general population.
Can you get hepatitis C during sex?
Hepatitis C is not an STI (sexually transmissible infection). However, if you have sex where there is blood involved, there is a small chance transmission might be possible. If you are a man who has sex with men, the risk is higher. The risk is increased if one or more partners has HIV, or if the sex involves blood-to-blood contact, of if they have other STIs, or if recreational drugs are used.
How can you reduce the risk of sexual transmission?
There are a few ways men can reduce the risk of passing on or getting hep C during sex:
- Use condoms and lots of lube for anal sex.
- Wear gloves and use lots of lube for fisting.
- Use condoms on toys and change them between partners, or wash toys with hot soapy water and dry them between partners.
- If affected by alcohol or recreational drugs, your judgement around risks will be impaired and you’ll have decreased inhibitions so take special care to avoid blood-to-blood contact.
What if I don’t want to use condoms?
Some men choose not to use condoms when having sex with other men who believe they have the same HIV status. This is called sero-sorting and can further increase people’s risk of contracting hep C and STI’s.
Learn more about hep C, sex and HIV
You can also learn more about HIV/AIDS by connecting with ACON.
This page last updated 10 Jan 2018