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Sexually Active with Hepatitis C

Sexually Active with Hepatitis C

I recently asked my partner what he thought about when I first told him about my diagnosis. He said being sexually active with hep C wasn’t scary, because he knew it wasn’t easily sexually transmitted. We never thought of stigma. He did admit to a few other fears that he had. Maybe you or your partner can identify with them. Since I told him about hepatitis during our first sexual encounter, I thought it would be a big turn off. Nope. He did have other questions on his mind, though.

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“Am I going to fall in love?”

It made me feel good to know that his feelings were so strong for me. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have been in bed with him without feeling like it was going to be a long term relationship. He wasn’t one for super casual encounters either, but neither of us knew that evening was going to be more than just good music and homemade soup.

“Is she going to die?”

He totally made love to me like I was a dying woman. Everybody should experience that at least once in their lives. After I poured out my story about all the problems I had overcome, like jaundice, a varices bleed, (yes, I brought it up naked), and a special doctor who was trying to save me, he was in tears. He held me for a long time, and let me cry into his shoulder.

“Will she regret this in the morning?”

After I fell asleep in his arms, he told me that his mind was full of thoughts. He wondered how I would feel later. I was a typical primary school teacher, but that night things had changed. Asleep, I seemed vulnerable, and unarmed. He was afraid I would have regret, and run.

“How can I help her?”

Over the next few days, I actually did withdraw. We texted, and then arranged to meet in public for dinner. I was a nervous wreck, wondering what he thought of me. As it turns out, he wanted to impress me too. I tried to talk music, but instead, he asked me what was happening with my doctor. I evaded the question, because I was trying to decide whether to treat hep C or not.

“Will she get the cure?”

One night, he picked me up and drove me to his apartment for dinner. He insisted on cooking a low-sodium meal that was safe for my liver. I was surprised, embarrassed, and excited all at the same time. He wanted to talk. Sure enough, the subject of treatment came up. There was info on the internet, and he had been reading. I told him about my appointment with the transplant center in another city. I was end stage, with advanced liver disease. My local gastroenterologist had already referred me. I was super casual and told him that the treatment didn’t have a high cure rate, less that 10%, and would require shots every week for a year.

He didn’t flinch. Soon, we would learn what it was like to be sexually active with Hep C treatment. That’s a whole story in itself.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The HepatitisC.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Karen Hoyt moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Tash,
    Thanks for taking the time to share. We NEED someone who to be with us in our fearful times, whether it’s HCV, HIV, or just the flu. Our illness is so intimate, and with our partner, we’re sharing our whole self once we are sexual with them.
    I’m happy to hear that he supported you while getting with pharma for treatment. I’m glad AbbVie was with you on that too.

    Your words: “He taught me I was lovable even when I felt the lowest in my entire life & thought nobody could love me, the hep c infected me, including myself. He helped me be strong & refuse to stop fighting for my life. He showed me there were still kindhearted people in this world no matter what I was infected with. I may have realized I wasn’t in love with him, but I’ll always love him for teaching me such a valuable lesson about myself which was I am lovable with or without hep c”.
    Thanks so much. We all need to hear that every single day of our life. What a treasured friend and lover you had. I’m glad he supported you in moving into your future too. Let’s stay connected. I’m glad you’re hep c free, and look forward to hearing how your journey goes. xo Karen

  • Tash
    4 weeks ago

    I had an ex that I remember was a lot like this, he was always concerned for me & constantly trying to help me emotionally but also physically by looking up information himself online too. It was the first time I had to tell someone that I was going to sexually with that I had hep c & I was so nervous of the backlash that sometimes I think that’s how our relationship never got off to a good start. His first reaction was “oh my god I was scared you were going to say you have AIDS” & then laughed like the biggest burden had been lifted from him. I.. didn’t find this quite as funny considering AIDS is no more of a joke in my mind. I learned to understand that he wasn’t making a joke, but he was relieved I wasn’t going to die, which made me understand he really didn’t know much about hep c in the first place. After awhile, he proved he was supportive & dedicated to understanding hep c better as well as to me & my feelings. He was constantly trying to think of ways to help me get the cure when he didn’t understand that the fact he didn’t turn his back on me when finding out I had hep c, didn’t treat me differently like many others did, & didn’t look at me differently during my worst days of fatigue & other side effects from the hep c was all the “help” I needed & the rest was my mission to getting cured. He was with me when I emailed AbbVie, there when I got the phone call from them, there for everything except the end which was because I broke up with him before finding out AbbVie had everything they needed to legally take care of me finally. I broke up with him for unrelated reasons, but he had asked if I would let him know if I would be getting cured or not after we broke up. I did text him almost immediately after getting my approval papers saying I’m starting treatment soon. He told me that was amazing news & he was proud of me & knew I could do it.

    In the end, him & I are still friends. He taught me I was lovable even when I felt the lowest in my entire life & thought nobody could love me, the hep c infected me, including myself. He helped me be strong & refuse to stop fighting for my life. He showed me there were still kindhearted people in this world no matter what I was infected with. I may have realized I wasn’t in love with him, but I’ll always love him for teaching me such a valuable lesson about myself which was I am lovable with or without hep c which is why I believe him & I are still friends to this day.

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