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Hepatitis C: An Overview

Prevalence | Incidence | Demographics | Natural History | Transmission
Prevention | HCV Testing | Treatment | What You Need To Know

Prevention

How can transmission be prevented?

  • Injecting Drug Users:
    • Stop using and injecting drugs.
    • Enter and complete substance abuse treatment.
    • If continuing to inject drugs:
      • Never reuse or "share" syringes, needles, water, or drug preparation equipment.
      • If injection equipment has been used by other persons, first clean the equipment with bleach and water.
      • Use only syringes obtained from a reliable source (e.g., pharmacies).
  • Injection Drug Use
    • Use a new sterile syringe to prepare and inject drugs; if possible, use sterile water to prepare drugs; otherwise use clean water from a reliable source (such as fresh tap water).
    • Use a new or disinfected container ("cooker") and a new filter ("cotton") to prepare drugs.
    • Clean the injection site prior to injection with a new alcohol swab.
    • Safely dispose of syringes after one use.
    • Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
  • Persons At-risk for STDs
    • Have sex with only one uninfected partner or do not have sex at all.
    • Use latex condoms correctly and every time to protect themselves and their partners from diseases spread through sexual activity.
    • Get vaccinated against hepatitis B, and if appropriate, hepatitis A.

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