Have You Been Exposed?
drug use and other shared drug paraphernalia
The hepatitis C virus is very easily transmitted by contact
with infected blood.
- Exposure to others' blood through shared needles or drug
paraphernalia (even many years ago and even if it was only once)
may be the source of hepatitis C infection.
transfusion, blood products (plasma, immune globulin, platelets, etc.) or organ
transplant from infected donor, especially prior to 1992
The hepatitis C virus was first isolated in 1989, and a test
to detect exposure to HCV has only been available since 1992.
Anyone who received a blood transfusion or other blood products prior to 1992
may have unknowingly been exposed to HCV and should be tested.
- exposure to
infected blood through occupation, manicures, pedicures, piercings, tattoos,
sports, sharing personal care items (razors, toothbrushes, etc.)
medical injections or poorly sterilized medical equipment
Although most medical facilities go to great lengths to be
sure all equipment is sterilized, there have been reported cases of hepatitis C
traced back to the use of reused or incompletely sterilized medical equipment.
- birth to an HCV-infected mother
The risk of transmission from a mother with hepatitis C to her
baby is approximately 5-10%. The risk is higher if the mother is also infected
The risk of transmission from mother to baby is not affected by the delivery
- sex with
This is an uncommon route of transmitting the hepatitis C
virus, especially among long-term monogamous couples.
The risk of sexual transmission is increased among people with multiple sexual
partners, and when sexual practices result in blood-to-blood exposure.
Click on images to read hepatitis C
exposure factor postcards
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