Hepatitis C: The Basics : Can hepatitis C be prevented?
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Lesson Hepatitis C: The Basics


Can hepatitis C be prevented?

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to prevent HCV infection. However, if you do not have hep C, there are steps you can take to avoid coming into contact with the virus.

Not injecting or stopping injection drug use would eliminate the chief route of HCV transmission. If you continue injecting drugs, then be sure to use new, sterile syringes every time you inject. You should never reuse or share syringes, needles, water or drug preparation equipment. The same is true for people who do have hep C, to keep them from passing along the virus.

You should not share toothbrushes or razors with someone you know is infected with HCV. If you are considering a tattoo or body piercing, then be sure that they are performed by reputable, licensed experts who follow strict hygiene procedures (for example, using sterile equipment).

While HCV transmission through sexual activity is rare, condoms are generally advised to reduce the risk of transmitting HCV, along with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. There have been recent reports of sexual transmission of hep C among men who have sex with men, in particular among those who are HIV positive.


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Last Revised: March 12, 2014

This content is written by the Hep editorial team.

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