More about Hepatitis C. Here’s the details:

Hi, I am sorry about not being clear. I am a male. My condom broke, and as soon as I pulled out, I ejaculated. It must have been a few seconds before I pulled out. Is my risk high of contracting Hepatitis C?

The first thing that you should consider is the person who you were having sex with. Does this person have Hepatitis C? If this person does have HCV, how dense is their viral load? Assuming that they have Hepatitis C, which is a very big assumption unless you know for sure that she has it, one major factor to consider would be her viral load, or amount of virus she has present in her body fluid. Viral load can fluctuate for a number of reasons. Nonetheless, HCV would still be hard to transmit, unless you are sharing needles or receiving anal intercourse, which is a whole another story.

There are a number of other factors that can affect your chances of contracting a blood-borne illness, such as Hepatitis C or HIV. One of these factors would be the duration of the contact. As you mentioned, the contact that was unprotected was very short. Another would be if you had any open sores, legions, or breaks in the skin of your penis. For example, this could be caused by herpes or syphilis. Recent studies have shown that even having herpes without an outbreak can cause lymphocytes to be present at or near the surface of the skin, which can enhance the probability of HIV infection, because the HIV virus bonds to the CD4 receptors on the surface of lymphocytes. Despite this, epidemiological information still tells us that this does not happen very often. In general, this infection is more difficult to contract than something like chlamydia or gonorrhea. Even without the condom, contracting Hepatitis C would be not be likely. That does not mean it is not possible, and, of course, we would never recommend any kind of sexual activity without the use of protection, unless you are certain of your partner’s sexual health status.

If you feel that getting tested would help you, then you should consider getting tested. I don’t think that you need to get tested, but in many cases this can help reassure you. There are a couple different ways to get tested for Hepatitis C. One way is by means of an HCV RNA PCR, which looks directly for the virus. This way you can detect HCV much earlier than you could with, for example, an antibody test, which is the other way to get tested. To find HCV testing locations in your area, click here.