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Friday, March 7, 2014
My daughter is dating a boy whose father has hepatitis C. I asked her if her friend had been tested. Her reply was yes but that family members of hepatitis C patients naturally develop an immunity to the disease. Is this true? Should I insist she be tested?
There should not be father to son transmission of Hepatitis C under usual circumstances (there may be some transmission to a spouse). So, unless the son has risk factors for Hep C of his own (such as intravenous drug use), the father’s infection should not increase the son’s risk. It is not true that family members have increased immunity to Hep C. She should be tested based on standard Hep C risk factors for her that she should discuss with her personal physician.
Gary Roselle, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati