Dating someone with hepatitis C: Tips and expectations – Medical News Today
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an infection that affects a person’s liver. People can transmit HCV through direct blood-to-blood contact. A person dating someone with HCV may need to take certain precautions to prevent contracting the virus.
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver that happens after infection with HCV. A person who has HCV may not know they have it, as it can cause mild symptoms or none at all. Liver damage from HCV may be the first indication that a person has it.
If a person is dating someone who has HCV, they may need to take precautions to ensure they do not contract it. Additionally, HCV can cause a person to experience health issues or certain stigmas. A person may need to provide support for their partner during these times.
Read on to learn more about dating someone with HCV, possible precautions to take, and how to tell your partner you have HCV.
While waiting to get tested for HCV or awaiting results, a person may be stressed, anxious, or worried. A person dating someone awaiting HCV results may be able to help them by:
- providing reassurance
- listening to their concerns
- offering support
- going through calming techniques with them, such as mindfulness or meditation
Before testing for HCV, a person may have to wait for their body to produce antibodies to the infection. Doctors use these antibodies to detect HCV in a person’s blood.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) note that it can take 8–11 weeks on average for a person to produce a positive test for HCV. Some may take longer, but the majority of people who have HCV will have detectable antibody levels after 6 months. There is also a test available that can detect HCV 1–2 weeks after exposure.
The time it takes a person to get their HCV test results can depend on the type of test. The CDC states that HCV tests can take a few days or a few weeks to arrive. Certain rapid HCV tests only take around 20–30 minutes to come through.
Learn more about HCV screening here.