Hepatitis C: Preventing the Spread

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

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.) Don't share other drug paraphernalia, including anything used to snort.

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.

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, take care of the wound yourself. Anyone who helps you should wear latex gloves. Use bleach to clean up any spilled blood. Carefully dispose of bandages, tissues, or anything that has your blood on it. Cover open cuts or sores with a bandage so others will not be exposed to your blood.