Approximately 250,000 to 600,000 people in the UK have Hepatitis C and only 55,000 to 91% of people with Hepatitis C may be undiagnosed. There have been a growing number of cases of Hepatitis C infection in HIV-positive men, and much of this increase is now understood to be due to sexual transmission2. If left untreated, this can lead to an increased risk of cirrhosis, liver cancer and even premature death.
Matthew Hodson, Head of Programmes at GMFA, says: “We want to encourage HIV-positive men to ask about Hep C at their clinics and ensure they get tested for the virus. Hep C often shows no symptoms and most people who get infected will not be able to get rid of it without treatment. By getting diagnosed early, you can start treatment and stand the best chance of overcoming the virus.”
Hepatitis C transmission is often associated with fisting and group sex. You can protect against the virus by using gloves if you fist and changing the glove between partners, using a new condom for each new partner if you have group sex, not sharing pots of lube, and using a new condom for each new partner if you share sex toys.