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Hepatitis C: Know the Facts

Many people don’t know the facts about hepatitis C. You may be concerned about things you’ve heard. Read on to learn what’s true about hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and what’s not.

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Facts about HCV Infection:

  • You can still have sex. Hepatitis C can be spread through sex, but this is uncommon. Your partner is safest if you use a latex condom correctly every time you have sex. If you’re in a committed relationship, you may not need to change your habits. Talk it over with your partner and do what feels right for both of you.

  • Your family members are safe. Hepatitis C can only be spread through contact with infected blood. Touching, kissing, and sharing food are all safe. But sharing anything that may have blood on it, like a toothbrush or razor, is not. Protect yourself by avoiding other people’s blood.

  • Most people with hepatitis C don’t die of it. Avoiding alcohol and taking other steps to protect your liver greatly reduces your chances of having life-threatening liver problems.

  • If you are a woman, you can still breastfeed. If you are being treated for hepatitis C, or if your nipples are cracked or bleeding, you should not breastfeed. Otherwise, breastfeeding with hepatitis C is safe.

  • You can have hepatitis C and not feel ill. Most people who have hepatitis C don’t feel sick or have symptoms. Symptoms are most common in later stages of the disease.

Online Medical Reviewer: Erlich, Kim Steven, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Tiffany, Jennifer S, PhD
Last Review Date: 2/7/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.