everything about hep c

NOMOREC

Networks with a relatively high number of infections

Key messages:
- Not all gay men are at risk of hepatitis C. The virus is mostly transmitted within specific networks. You will often know if this applies to your own network.
- Hepatitis C is mostly found among HIV-positive gay men.
- Sometimes, HIV-negative gay men also get hepatitis C.
- Hepatitis C is also somewhat more commonly found among men who use (or wish to start using) PrEP.  
- HIV-negative men, including PrEP users, are at greater risk of hepatitis C if they have sex without condoms in a network in which hepatitis C goes around.

 

Specific networks

You will usually know if hepatitis C exists in your sex network. For example because a fuck buddy has (or has had) hepatitis C. Or maybe someone you don’t know very well has (or has had) it, and you are aware that this person ‘fishes in the same pond of men’ as you, because of his sexual preferences. To find out which situations are associated with a higher risk of getting hepatitis C, go to 'Transmission of hepatitis C'.

Among HIV-positive men especially

It is mostly HIV-positive men that get hepatitis C through sex. This isn’t because of the HIV infection; it is because hepatitis C is more common in the sexual networks of HIV-positive men. If you take anti-HIV medication, you are still at risk of this STI.
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Of course, not all HIV-positive men have an the same risk of getting hepatitis C. If you’re HIV-positive, the risk of getting hepatitis C largely depends on the type of sex you have — for example, if you always use condoms or not — and on the network of men with whom you have sex. See above.

Are you HIV-positive? And do you think you are at risk of getting hepatitis C? Then get yourself tested for the virus every three months. Take additional tests if you think the type of sex you’ve had has put you at a greater than average risk. Also take additional tests whenever a sex partner warns you he has hepatitis C.

To take additional tests, you can:

  • order the NoMoreC C-test (RNA test)
  • visit GGD Amsterdam's STI clinic (where you are allowed to take 2 tests per year)
  • ask your GP

More info at 'Test for Hepatitis C'

 

Sometimes, HIV-negative men, too

Sometimes, HIV-negative men also get hepatitis C through sex. Hepatitis C is somewhat more commonly found among men who use (or wish to start using) PrEP.
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If you are HIV-negative, you have a higher risk of getting hepatitis C if you have sex without condoms in a network in which hepatitis C goes around.

PrEP

Hepatitis C is more common among men who use (or wish to start using) PrEP. PrEP is unlikely to make you more biologically vulnerable to hepatitis C.​ Of course, not every PrEP user has the same risk of getting hepatitis C. If you use PrEP, your chance of getting hepatitis C appears to depend on the type of sex you have — for example, if you always use condoms or not — and on the network of men with whom you have sex.

Are you a PrEP user? And do you think you are at risk of getting hepatitis C? Then get yourself tested for the virus every three months. Take additional tests if you think the type of sex you’ve had has put you at a greater than average risk. Also take additional tests whenever a sex partner warns you he has hepatitis C.

GGD Amsterdam: participants in the AmPrEP project are tested twice a year for hepatitis C. Participants in the Discover study are tested once a year for hepatitis C. And men that get their PrEP care at InPrEP (= healthcare service for men who arrange their own PrEP -online or offline) are tested four times a year for hepatitis C.
 

For regular (or additional) hepatitis C tests, you can:

  • order the NoMoreC C-test (RNA test)
  • ask your GP

More info at 'Test for hepatitis C'.


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