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Author Topic: What are the chances I have hepatitis C?  (Read 103 times)

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Offline skleep

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What are the chances I have hepatitis C?
« on: February 18, 2014, 08:20:03 PM »
So I'm obviously low risk for hep c, born in 1989 and to my knowledge never had blood transfusion (oral surgery in 1997 and 2008, no blood transfusions during them). No IV drug use or anything like that.

I keep worrying about hep C and the reason I don't want to get tested yet is that my wedding is this year and I don't want a positive result to ruin my wedding.  I also know that false positives are really common so I only want to get tested if I have a really legitimate reason to be concerned.  I have no symptoms or anything like that. I recently got a comp metabolic panel and my liver was normal but I'm not sure if that means anything.

So here are the things I'm worried about.  I know only 1% of people have hep c, and yet there seem to be so many ridiculously easy ways of getting it (it lives on surfaces for 4 days/?!?!) so help me please, I'm confused.  Here's the stuff I've done that I'm worreid about:

- once bought earrings in NYC on the side of the street (woman was selling loads of handmade earrings) and I put them in without washing them first, my ear may have bled a tiny bit.

- once cut my foot while walking hoem 2 blocks, barefoot- it was a residential wealthy area and it probably wasn't a needle but I still worry because I don't know how I cut my foot.

- once kissed a boy in middle school and he had braces and cut his lip while kissing me.  to my knowledge he didn't have hep c.

- random little scrapes on my hand here and there, didn't wear band aids

- (this is the big one) got my ears pierced at Claire's in 2002, with one of the piercing guns.  I heard these can transmit blood diseases but they are so common, literally everyone in my hometown got their ears pierced this way, and my mom claims she had asked the woman lots of questions re: sanitary practices and whatnot.  I feel like if these transmitted hep c really easily, wouldn't TONS of women my age have it, not just 1% or less?

- Got a few pedicures, once I got a manicure and I got cut.

These are all really commonplace things and yet I'm so worried about hep c from them- but, if it's this easy to get it, why doesn't EVERYONE have it?? 
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: What are the chances I have hepatitis C?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 08:39:39 PM »
Hepatits C ppl get through blood transfusion and sharing needles.

All of your "exposures" carry none to minimal risk.

From a rational point of view, I would be concerned of having Hep C in your case as much as I would worry about getting hit by lightining tomorrow. ;)
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Offline skleep

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Re: What are the chances I have hepatitis C?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 08:41:28 PM »
@Hypo84

Thanks :) The only thing is I have heard of people with hep C who listed no risk factors, but they tend to be a lot older, so maybe they saw surgeons before HIV was discovered, who were not using proper sanitation standards?  idk, the stuff I did seems really really common so that's why I was wondering! ha
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Offline MobileChucko

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Re: What are the chances I have hepatitis C?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 09:08:10 PM »
Hi Skleep...

In the United States, there are approximately 30.000 new cases of Hepatitis C each year.  That's 30,000 of over 300 million people, or roughly 0.00001 of 1%.  And 40% of that 30,000, acquire the disease by IV drug use.  So if you have never been an IV drug abuser, your chances now drop to 0.000006 of 1%.  And, it really isn't that easy to get.

Hepatitis C is spread by direct, blood-to-blood contact.  Ways of acquiring this disease include: Hemophilia, hemodialysis, organ transplant, IV drug use, blood transfusion (prior to 1992), needle-stick injury, tattooing, body piercing, and sexual activity with multiple partners.

Also, most experts estimate that approximately one-quarter to one-third of people initially infected with Hep C, will naturally clear the virus without treatment thanks to an effective immune response.  There is also treatment for Hepatitis C, and approximately 50% of those treated will respond favorably.

I'm hopeful that this information might reassure you that your chances of acquiring Hepatitis C from day-to-day routine, is exceedingly rare.

I would also suggest that you consider some form of therapy that may help to alleviate your fears.

The very best to you, Skleep!...  Chuck :grinning-smiley-003:
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