Ways to Transmit Hepatitis C

Ways to Transmit Hepatitis C

Many people are unclear on how Hepatitis C is transmitted. Hepatitis C is able to be transmitted through indirect sources. Hepatitis C can by transferred through any item that carries the virus, even if it is indirect. Let us educate you on potential ways that Hepatitis C can be transmitted so you can protect yourself.

Hepatitis C is contagious. It is mainly transmitted via blood-to-blood transfer. This transmission can occur by:

  • Sharing Needles – The most significant risk behaviour is drug use. The sharing of contaminated needles and other drug equipment puts you at risk of infection.
  • Acupuncture & Tattoo Needles – Without proper sterilization, needles can carry the virus. Being put into your skin for treatment can allow for the Hepatitis C virus to be transferred. Not only the needles but the ink can also carry the virus; ink should not be shared either.
  • Surgical or Diagnostic instruments.
  • Sexual Contact – Heterosexual or homosexual activity can put you at risk, it is not discriminate or selective. Rates of transmission are higher when a person has multiple sexual encounters.
  • Organ Transplants.

Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread when the blood from a Hepatitis C infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. Hepatitis C transmission happens only through exposure to an infected person’s blood. It is not contagious like the common cold. You cannot get or give Hepatitis C by:

  • Kissing/Hugging
  • Shaking hands/Casual contact
  • Sneezing/Coughing
  • Sharing eating utensils
  • Sharing food or drink

Understanding how it is transmitted will allow you to protect yourself, family members, and friends by sharing with them the ways that Hepatitis C can be transmitted. For more information check out our Facts Page or find a clinic near you.