Published online May 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i5.234
Revised: April 21, 2013
Accepted: May 7, 2013
Published online: May 27, 2013
Core tip: The results of a number of studies have shown that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is mainly transmitted through medical procedures with contaminated supplies, whereas human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission is predominantly sexual. Heterosexual transmission of HCV is exceptional and can occur, from males to females, in extremely rare occasions in case of vaginal mucosal damage or less rarely through anal intercourse. Transmission by needle-stick injury occurs in 0.9%-2.2% of exposures from HCV-infected subjects and in 0.1%-0.3% of exposures from HIV-infected individuals; therefore HCV is more transmissible through percutaneous exposure.