Prevent the Spread of Hepatitis C
Practicing safety measures can prevent the spread of hepatitis C and its damaging effects.
If you have had hepatitis C and been successfully treated and received the cure, this does not protect you from contracting hepatitis C again. No one is immune from hep C, and there is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
If you have hepatitis C and are exposed again to hepatitis C infected blood, you can also become infected with more than one genotype (virus strain) at the same time, or become co-infected with hepatitis A or B.1
How is hepatitis C spread?
Hepatitis C is a virus that enters the person’s bloodstream. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) primarily attacks the liver, but can also affect other organs, causing associated conditions.
Ways to stop the spread of hepatitis C
Education and prevention are the best way to stop the spread of hepatitis C. Learn the ways to stop the spread, such as:1
- Do not share needles or any paraphernalia used in drug use. This includes straws, filters, etc. Injecting or inhaling drugs is a major contributor to the spread of hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV.
- Do not share personal hygiene items of any kind, including razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, etc.
- Do not receive any tattoos or body piercing with unsterile needles or equipment. Do not depend on it looking clean. All equipment needs to be correctly sterilized to be safe.
- Hepatitis C dried blood can still spread the virus. All surfaces and dried blood need to be cleaned by wearing gloves and cleaning surfaces with part bleach and water solution.
- Practice safe sex.
- If you or someone has diabetes, or works in the medical field, make sure to practice safety measures when handling needles or sharp instruments. Wear gloves and dispose of needles in a sharps container designated for safety disposable.
- Wear gloves when helping anyone with dressing a wound.
- Use band-aids and cover any open wound.
How is hepatitis C NOT spread?
You can not contract hepatitis C from casual contact from someone who is infected. Hep C is not spread by:1
- Hugging, holding hands, or casual touching
- Kissing, unless there is a breakdown in the infected person’s mouth
- Cooking or eating food that someone who has hep C has prepared
- Sharing eating utensils
- Breastfeeding unless there is an open wound or cracked nipples
Be safe and proactive by practicing prevention measures. Do not assume you do not have hepatitis C. Be sure. Get tested, seek treatment, and get cured. You are worth it!
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