Hepatitis C: Preventing the Spread

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Safe Sex Guidelines for Hepatitis C

Protect your partner by taking these steps to reduce your risk of transmitting the virus during sex.
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The spread of HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection can be prevented. HCV is passed through blood. If you’re infected with HCV, avoid letting other people come in contact with your blood. With a little extra care you can keep the people around you safe.

Dispose of Needles Safely

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.)

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. Women with HCV infection should avoid having sex during their menstrual periods.

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, try to take care of the wound yourself. Anyone who helps you should wear latex gloves. Use bleach to clean up any spilled blood. Cover open cuts or sores with a bandage so others will not be exposed to your blood.

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Medical Reviewers: Erlich, Kim Steven, MD; Tiffany, Jennifer S, PhD; Last Review Date: Feb 7, 2012

© 2000-2015 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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