Hepatitis C infection can silent hence women with this infection are asymptomatic. The thing is, even if it doesn’t affect us because it is silent, there is a chance that this viral infection gets transmitted to our unborn children in the future. For this reason, Hepatitis C testing must be done.
Who should take Hepatitis C test?
It is a must for all women to take Hepatitis C testing but women who fall into this category must do something now and get tested immediately.
- Women whose family with Hepatitis C history
- Women who worked with people with Hepatitis C such as researchers, lab clinicians, and health workers
- Women who use injection or had used injection in the past
- Women who engaged in risky sexual behavior such as having multiple partners and having unprotected sex
- Women born from a Hepatitis C positive mother
- Women who had tattoos
- Women who got incarcerated
- Women who had hemodialysis
- Women who had blood transfusion in the past
Hepatitis C and pregnancy
A pregnant woman who tested positive for her current Hepatitis C test cannot undergo any Hepatitis C treatment because of the baby. Certain Hepatitis C treatments are known to affect unborn babies negatively. For example, Hepatitis C treatment, ribavirin is known to cause birth defects because of its cancer-causing properties. If you think you are at risk of having Hepatitis C, make sure to avoid getting pregnant at all cost. While on treatment, avoid getting pregnant as well. If you knew that your partner is undergoing Hepatitis C treatment, avoid getting impregnated by him as well. His medication can still affect your future unborn child. Sexual activities can still be enjoyed by partners as long as they use birth control methods.
Hepatitis C and unborn children
According to the CDC or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chance of transmitting Hepatitis C virus to unborn children is high. In a recent data, at least 4% of babies born from Hepatitis C infected mothers tested positive for Hepatitis C. if the mother has HIV too, the risk is higher as well. The CDC further explained that the transmission from mother to baby happens during birth when the baby accidentally had blood contact with the mother during delivery. As far as viral load is a concern, the agency explained that if the mother has chronic Hepatitis C but viral load is negative, the baby is safe from having Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C-antibody positive
Being hepatitis C-antibody positive – a woman that tested hepatitis C-antibody positive means that this woman had hepatitis C infection before but is now cleared! Her Hepatitis C test will show hepatitis C-RNA or viral load negative hence she cannot infect anyone anymore. She is no threat. Still, she is vulnerable to infection again if exposed to the virus.
Hepatitis C is curable but most importantly, it is preventable. If you think you are at risk or our partner is at risk, get tested immediately.