Hepatitis C (Hep C or HCV) is a virus that is spread from one person to another through contact with the blood of an infected person. The majority of people living with Hep C are not aware of it because they don’t have any symptoms. Even without symptoms, Hep C can cause permanent damage to the liver and could lead to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.

Hepatitis C can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).

You may be at risk for hepatitis C and should contact your health care provider for a blood test if you:

  • Were notified that you received blood from a donor who later tested positive for hepatitis C.
  • Have ever injected illegal drugs—even if it was only once.
  • Have ever gotten a tattoo or piercing in a non-professional setting where equipment such as ink, inkwells or needles are re-used and potentially unsterilized.
  • Received a blood transfusion or solid-organ transplant before July 1992.
  • Received a blood product for clotting problems before 1987.
  • Have ever been on kidney dialysis.
  • Have evidence of liver disease (for example, persistently elevated liver enzyme levels).
  • Have had multiple sexual partners, or sexual contact with an HCV-positive person.
    Have an HCV-positive mother.

Hep C can be cured! Treatment for Hep C is usually one pill a day for a few months, with few side effects. To get connected to treatment, check out our Hepatitis C Resources.

Hep C Prevention

Key Points

  • There is no vaccine to prevent Hep C. You are never immune to Hep C. Even if you are cured, you can get reinfected.
  • Syringe exchange and harm reduction can protect you from Hep C.
  • Never share drug use equipment including: needles, syringes, cotton, rinse water, cookers, spoons, straws or pipes or any other drug use supplies.
  • If you use drugs, learn how to protect yourself from Hep C.
  • Have protected sex if you don’t know your partner’s status. Find free NYC condoms.
  • Do not share personal care items that could have blood on them, such as razors, clippers, or toothbrushes.
  • Clean blood spills immediately with one part bleach and nine parts water.

For People Who Use Drugs

Read PDF - Take Care, Take Charge

Hepatitis C – Get Tested. Get Cured.

A 30 second public service announcement to provide information about Hepatitis C.

Patient Resources

Hepatitis C Resources
Tools and Resources for Hep C Patients

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