Preventing hepatitis C

Some people do not know they are living with the virus, so we advise that you take precautions;

Don’t share injecting drug use equipment

Always use clean and sterile equipment to inject drugs (this includes needles, water, cups, filters, spoons) - keep your preparation areas separate. Use needle and syringe programmes (needle exchange) to make sure you always have clean and sterile equipment. Many drug and alcohol services and pharmacies across England have these services available.

Don’t share snorting items

Snorting drugs increases your risk of getting hepatitis C. If you’re sharing notes, tubes, or straws tiny amounts of blood can be transferred from one person to another.

Use condoms

When having sex, condoms are your best defence against hepatitis C, as well as sexually transmitted infections and HIV. You can get free condoms from your local sexual health service. Transmission of hepatitis C is ‘blood to blood’, so anal sex or rough sex make an infection more likely, and sex whilst someone is menstruating (on their period) should be avoided.

If you’ve had hepatitis C before, carry on being careful

It is possible for a person to get the virus again if they come into contact with it again, regardless of whether they have cleared the virus naturally before or had treatment. This is why it’s important that you stick to the advice above to reduce your chances of getting hepatitis C again. Make sure that you keep your personal hygiene items, such as razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers separate to reduce the chance of blood to blood contact.