How can persons infected with HCV prevent spreading HCV to others?
Do not donate blood, body organs, other tissue, or semen.
Do not share personal items that might have your blood on them, such as toothbrushes, dental appliances, nail-grooming equipment or razors.
Cover your cuts and skin sores to keep from spreading HCV.
How can a person protect themselves from getting hepatitis C and other diseases spread by contact with human blood?
Don't ever shoot drugs. If you shoot drugs, stop and get into a treatment program. If you can't stop, never reuse or share syringes, water, or drug works, and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Do not share toothbrushes, razors, or other personal care articles. They might have blood on them.
If you are a healthcare worker, always follow routine barrier precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps. Get vaccinated against hepatitis B
Consider the health risks if you are thinking about getting a tattoo or body piercing: You can get infected if:
the tools that are used have someone else's blood on them.
the artist or piercer doesn't follow good health practices, such as washing hands and using disposable gloves.
HCV can be spread by sex, but this does not occur very often. If you are having sex, but not with one steady partner:
You and your partners can get other diseases spread by having sex (e.g., AIDS, hepatitis B, gonorrhea or chlamydia).
You should use latex condoms correctly and every time. The efficacy of latex condoms in preventing infection with HCV is unknown, but their proper use may reduce transmission.
You should get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
Should patients with hepatitis C change their sexual practices if they have only one long-term steady sex partner? No. There is a very low chance of spreading HCV to that partner through sexual activity. If you want to lower the small chance of spreading HCV to your sex partner, you may decide to use barrier precautions such as latex condoms. The efficacy of latex condoms in preventing infection with HCV is unknown, but their proper use may reduce transmission. Ask your doctor about having your sex partner tested.
What can persons with HCV infection do to protect their liver?
Stop using alcohol.
See your doctor regularly.
Don't start any new medicines or use over-the-counter, herbal, and other medicines without a physician's knowledge.
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A if liver damage is present.
What other information should patients with hepatitis C be aware of?
HCV is not spread by sneezing, hugging, coughing, food or water, sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, or casual contact.
Persons should not be excluded from work, school, play, child-care or other settings on the basis of their HCV infection status.
Involvement with a support group may help patients cope with hepatitis C.
Should persons with chronic hepatitis C be vaccinated against hepatitis B?
If persons are in risk groups for whom hepatitis B vaccine is recommended, they should be vaccinated