(0)
Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources
(0)
Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources
Cart & Checkout (0)
Loading... Updating...
Your cart is empty
Checkout View Cart
View all resources
Hepatitis C, Sex & Transmission

Hepatitis C, Sex & Transmission

Home All About Hep C Hepatitis C, Sex & Transmission
Hepatitis C, Sex & Transmission

Hepatitis C, Sex & Relationships 

Hepatitis C (also called hep C) is not classified as an STI (sexually transmissible infection) because the risk of getting hep C through sex is so low. Some people, who didn’t have any other risks for hep C, believe hep C was passed onto them through sex. 

How do you get hep C? 

Hep C is passed on through blood-to-blood contact. This is when the blood of someone with hep C gets into the bloodstream of someone else. This can happen through: 

It’s good to remember that Hep C is not passed on through touching, kissing, sharing food or drinks, or hugging. For more info, see: https://www.hep.org.au/hep-c/what-is-hep-c/ 

Hep C transmission during sex – is it possible? 

Research suggests that a small number of people do get hep C through blood-to-blood contact during sex. So hep C can be passed on through sex, but it is rare. 

If blood-to-blood contact happens during sex, hep C might be passed on. To avoid this, use condoms, dams, or gloves:

Did you know that if you are unsure of a sex partner’s sexual health status or where you or your partner have multiple sexual partners, you should adopt safer sex practices to help prevent STI’s like herpes or syphilis being transmitted from one person to another?

How does being hep C positive affect my sex life & relationships

Hep C is not classified as an STI, because hep C is found in blood, and not in sexual fluids. However, hep C can be passed on through blood-to-blood contact during sex, including when blood makes contact with sores, cuts or abrasions.

People with hep C infection can be treated and cured, which means they no longer have hep C and there is no risk of passing it on to other people, including during sex.

Safe sex protects both partners from STIs. Safe sex should be used with new or casual sexual partners, or where there may be blood-to-blood contact during sex. Safe sex practices can include use of condoms and lubricant, gloves and dental dams, and engaging in low-risk sexual activity such as oral sex.

Call NSW Infoline 1800 803 990

Speak to a member of our hepatitis Infoline team via either phone call or online with live chat.

Call or Chat
Call NSW Infoline 1800 803 990

Safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases 

All sexually active people should consider safe sex because of the risk of STI’s (sexually transmissible infections). STIs include genital herpes, HIV, hepatitis B, gonorrhoea, syphilis, chlamydia, crabs and genital warts. 

If you have an STI that involves scratching, sores or blisters (especially when these may come into contact during sexual activity) the possibility of blood-to-blood contact and transmission of STIs is increased. 

Hep C and men who have sex with men 

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. 

Among men who have sex with men, the risk of hep C being transmitted is higher if one or more partners have HIV if the sex involves blood-to-blood contact, of if they have other STIs, or if recreational drugs are used. 

How can men who have sex with men reduce the risk of sexual transmission of Hepatitis C?

There are a few ways men can reduce the risk of passing on or getting hep C during sex:

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 passing on hep C. Visit our page on Hepatitis C and Men Who Have Sex with Men to learn more.

You can also download our facsheet about hep C, sex & transmission here >>

For more information, phone the Hepatitis Infoline on 1800 803 990.

This Department of Health site also has more information on STI’s >>

Find clinics and doctors in NSW

Find local clinics and specialists in NSW who can help you with Hepatitis treatment and care.

Find Help
Find clinics and doctors in NSW

Did you find this helpful? Share with someone else.