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Hepatitis C: Preventing the Spread

The spread of HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection can be prevented. HCV is passed through blood. If you’re infected with HCV, avoid letting other people come in contact with your blood. With a little extra care you can keep the people around you safe.

 

 

A needle being disposed of

 

Photograph of an open condom package

Dispose of needles safely, and do not share needles

If you use needles for any reason, don’t share them. Keep syringes capped between uses and don’t let anyone else use them. After using a needle, dispose of it safely in a puncture-proof container. (Ask your healthcare provider about this.)

 

Practice safer sex

Rarely, HCV can pass from person to person during sex. Using latex condoms correctly every time is the only effective way to protect against most diseases that are spread through sex. Women with HCV infection should avoid having sex during their menstrual periods.

 

 

 

Photo of a razor and a toothbrush 

 

A picture of someone taking a bandage off of a wound on his hand

Don’t share toiletries

Even if you can’t see it, tiny amounts of blood can be on razors, toothbrushes, nail clippers, or other personal care items. Don’t share these items with anyone. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re not sure what’s safe to share.

 

Care for open wounds

If you’re bleeding, try to take care of the wound yourself. Anyone who helps you should wear latex gloves. Use bleach to clean up any spilled blood. Cover open cuts or sores with a bandage so others will not be exposed to your blood.

 

Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Taylor, Wanda, L., RN, PhD.
Last Review Date: 3/30/2014
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