Warning sex partners


Important messages:
- Been infected with hepatitis C? Warn all your sex partners of the last six months so that they too can get tested. Sometimes the period of warning is shorter or longer.
- Warn them as soon as you learn you have the virus.
- It is in your interest to warn your sex partners. It reduces the risk of getting the virus again after you’ve been cured from hepatitis C.
- Talk to the health professional that gave you the results about how to warn your sex partners. You can warn them anonymously, if you prefer.
- Did you visit sex parties recently? Then make sure you have the host’s contact details.

Prevent the virus from 'ping-ponging'

Prevent the virus from ping-ponging within your sexual network. Warn all your sex partners from the last six months so that they too can get tested. In some cases the period that you have to go back is shorter or longer.

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  • Warn all your sex partners as soon as you learn you have the virus. How far back you have to go depends on how frequently you have been tested for hepatitis C, and on your last test date. The HIV/STI nurse or your doctor can help you with this.
  • Warn them even if you used condoms.
  • If you took part in a sex party, warn everyone who was there. Even men you did not have sex with could be infected. See How hepatitis C is transmitted.
  • Make sure your sex partners understand that the infection you are warning them about is hepatitis C. This may sound obvious, but people sometimes mix up hepatitis A, B and C.

How do I do this?

Warning sex partners isn’t fun, but they will thank you for it. Worried about warning them? Then ask the STI/HIV nurse or your doctor for help and support.

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Make a list with the contact details of all the men you’ve had sex with over the last six months, and when you had sex with them. Details should include:

  • phone numbers
  • dating app profile names
  • email addresses

Go to sex parties? Then make sure you at least have the host’s contact details. He might be able to help with warning the others, or provide their contact details.

Choose which method you prefer:

  1. Warn all your sex partners yourself.
  2. Make a plan with the STI/HIV nurse or doctor on how to warn all of your sex partners. Warning them anonymously is possible.

The advantage of making a plan with a nurse or doctor:

- The professional can create a warning code via the website. You can use this code to warn your partners directly or anonymously. Another option: the professional gives you a warning slip.

- The men you warn with a code or a slip can immediately make an appointment for a test with the GGD. GGD’s STI clinic will not only test them for hepatitis C, but also for other STIs.

Health facilities in the Netherlands have to inform the GGD about any case of hepatitis C infection that they come across. So don’t be surprised if someone from the GGD calls you to ask some questions. Or they will also ask if you would like them to help you warn your sex partners. The questions and the offer of help may happen in separate phone calls.