Many people are unclear on how Hepatitis C is transmitted. Hepatitis C is able to be transmitted through indirect sources. Hepatitis C can by transferred through any item that carries the virus, even if it is indirect. Let us educate you on potential ways that Hepatitis C can be transmitted so you can protect yourself.
Hepatitis C is contagious. It is mainly transmitted via blood-to-blood transfer. This transmission can occur by
- Sharing Needles – the most significant risk behaviour is drug use. The sharing of contaminated needles and other drug equipment puts you at risk of infection.
- Acupuncture & Tattoo Needles – without proper sterilization, needles can carry the virus. Being put into your skin for treatment can allow for the Hepatitis C virus to be transferred. (not only the needles but the ink can also carry the virus) – ink should not be shared either.
- Surgical or Diagnostic instruments
- Sexual Contact – Heterosexual or homosexual activity can put you at risk, it is not discriminate or selective. Rates of transmission are higher when a person has multiple sexual encounters.
- Organ Transplants.
Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread when the blood from a Hepatitis C-infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. Hepatitis C transmission happens only through exposure to an infected person’s blood. It is not contagious like the common cold. You cannot get, or give, Hepatitis C by:
- Shaking hands/Casual contact
- Sharing eating utensils
- Sharing food or drink
Understanding how it is transmitted will allow you to protect yourself, family members, and friends by sharing with them the ways that Hepatitis C can be transmitted. For more information check out our Facts Page or find a clinic near you.