In the areas of sexual health and disease prevention, PrEP has gained considerable attention in the last few years. PrEP, short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, was initially introduced as a preventive measure against HIV and has since proven to be a groundbreaking tool in preventing HIV for those at high risk of contracting it. 

While PrEP prevents HIV, it doesn’t protect against other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, the transmission risks for HIV are very similar to the transmission risks for Hepatitis C.

In this blog post, we delve into why being on PrEP is essential for those vulnerable to Hepatitis C, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. 

Understanding Hepatitis C and How It’s Transmitted

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that primarily affects the liver, leading to inflammation and potential long-term complications such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer if left untreated. The virus is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, commonly associated with sharing needles or equipment for injecting drugs, and also being born to a Hep C-positive mother.Hepatitis C can also be transmitted through unregulated tattooing and sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or toothbrushes. 

It’s essential to recognize that it can be transmitted through sexual activities. While it is an inefficient means of transmission, HIV-infected men who have sex with men [MSM] have an increased risk of sexual transmission.

However, it is important to recognize that anyone can contract HIV, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In 2021, the CDC reported that heterosexual contact accounted for 22% (7,100) of the 32,100 estimated new HIV infections. Heterosexual contact accounted for 6% (2,000) of estimated new HIV infections for cisgender men, and 6% (5,100) of estimated new HIV infections for cisgender women. 


Breaking Stigma and Barriers in Healthcare

Stigma is one of the most significant barriers to accessing healthcare, including preventive measures like PrEP. The stigma surrounding sexual orientation, gender identity, and substance use can create reluctance among individuals to seek out essential services, including STI testing and prevention.

It's crucial to emphasize that HIV and Hepatitis C do not discriminate based on one's gender identity or sexual orientation. These viruses can affect anyone, regardless of their background or lifestyle. Therefore, promoting PrEP as a preventive option for both HIV and Hepatitis C is a step towards destigmatizing sexual health and creating inclusive healthcare environments.

In conclusion, being on PrEP is not just about protecting against HIV; it's about embracing comprehensive sexual health and minimizing risks. Since there is a lot of overlap in the transmission of HIV and Hep C, particularly through injection drug use, taking PrEP is a way to be comprehensive in your protection.

It's essential to recognize that HIV and Hepatitis C are not isolated health concerns but interconnected issues that require a holistic approach to prevention and care. By advocating for PrEP as a vital component of sexual health promotion, we can break down barriers, challenge stigma, and ensure that everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, has access to the tools and resources they need to lead healthy lives.

Be Hep C Free With HepCMyWay

At HepCMyWay, our mission is to ensure that hepatitis C treatment is accessible to all, including individuals coinfected with HIV. Powered by the Central Outreach Wellness Center, HepCMyWay is dedicated to providing the latest, most effective treatments for Hepatitis C in a manner that is both accessible and affordable, free from judgment. We believe in simplicity, offering a streamlined 3-step process to make Hep C treatment more manageable than ever.

  1. Reach out to us: Whether you prefer filling out a patient-friendly form or speaking directly with a team member, getting started is easy.
  2. Get tested: We'll assist you in scheduling a blood draw at a lab or arrange for one of our compassionate phlebotomists to come to your home. Your sample will be sent for pre-treatment testing.
  3. Start your journey to recovery: Following your test results, we'll arrange a telemedicine visit with an experienced hep C clinician to discuss your personalized treatment plan. If you proceed with treatment, your medication will be delivered directly to your doorstep.

With HepCMyWay, we're simplifying the process of curing chronic hepatitis. Receive the care you deserve today by joining HepCMyWay. As the leading provider of online Hep C treatment, we make accessing the care you need as easy as 1, 2, 3. Start your journey to a Hep C-free life with HepCMyWay today!