HEP C IS A BLOOD BORNE VIRUS

Hepatitis C (hep C) is only passed on when blood from someone who has hep C gets into the bloodstream of another person. This is called blood-to-blood contact. Hep C can be passed on by very small amounts of blood – even tiny amounts you can’t see.

You cannot tell if someone has hep C by looking at them and there are often no symptoms if you have hep C.

Approximately one in every hundred people in Australia have hep C, many do not even know they are living with the virus and many have had it for several years.

HEP C IS TRANSMITTED THROUGH BLOOD-TO-BLOOD CONTACT.

MOST COMMON TRANSMISSION ROUTES

Sharing any form of injecting equipment – such as needles, syringes, swabs, spoons, tourniquets, water, filters, and hands – is the most common way to pass on the virus.

Hep C can also be passed on when the equipment used for tattooing or piercing is not sterile. This is more likely with backyard or prison tattooists and with home piercings.

OTHER WAYS HEP C CAN BE TRANSMITTED…
  • medical procedures or vaccinations in countries with poor infection control
  • sharing personal-care items such as razors, toothbrushes, tweezers
  • accidental pricking with a needle (also known as a needle stick injury)
  • blood-to-blood contact during a fight
  • sex involving blood-to-blood contact
YOU CANNOT GET HEP C FROM…
  • Sneezing/coughing
  • Sharing food or drink
  • Kissing or hugging
  • Toilet seats
  • Mosquito bites

YOU CAN PREVENT TRANSMISSION.

  • If you are a person who uses injecting equipment you should use sterile injecting equipment every time and never share injecting equipment with another person. More information on services can be found here.
  • Only get tattoos an piercings through qualified operators – they should use proper sterilisation procedures and sterile equipment.
  • Be wary of medical procedures in some overseas countries as they may not follow standard sterilisation procedures.
  • Do not share personal-care items such as razors, toothbrushes, tweezers

Stay Informed.
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