How could I get Hepatitis C?

The transmission of Hepatitis C occurs when blood from an infected person enters the body of a person who does not have the Hepatitis C virus.

Some examples of this are:

Ever, even once, shared needles, straws used forsnorting drugs, pipes, spoons and other drug-related equipment. (This virus was around when sharing such equipment was common in the 1960s and 1970s.) Cleaning with bleach may not kill the Hepatitis C virus.

  • Hepatitis C is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood.
  • Getting pricked with a needle that has infected blood on it. (hospital workers can get hepatitis C this way)
  • Being born to a mother with hepatitis C.
  • Got a tattoo or had body piercing or acupuncture where the operator used unsterile or homemade equipment or unsterile techniques..
  • People who had blood transfusions before 1992 are also at risk for developing the disease.
    In rare cases, you could get hepatitis C by:
  • Having sex with an infected person, especially if you or your partner has other sexually
    transmitted diseases.

You can NOT get hepatitis C by:

  • Shaking hands or sitting next to an infected person.
  • Hugging and Kissing an infected person.
  • Being around someone who is sneezing or coughing.
  • The virus is not found in food or water.

Could I get Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion?

A doctor can test you for hepatitis C.

If you had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992, you might have hepatitis C. Before 1992, doctors could not check blood for hepatitis C, and some people received infected blood. If you had a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992, ask a doctor to test you for hepatitis C.