C is transmitted by infected blood. Avoiding contact with blood is the best way
of avoiding hepatitis C infection. 1
- Sharp and pointed personal
hygiene objects should not be shared. For example, do not share nail
scissors, nail clippers, razors.
- Do not share toothbrushes.
- People who use drugs should
only ever use their own needles and other drug paraphernalia.
- Condoms should be used by
those who frequently change sexual partners, by men who have sex with men
and for sexual practices which may involve a risk of bleeding, such as
anal sex, fisting and intercourse during menstruation.2
- Take care when treating
bleeding wounds. Wear protective gloves.
cannot take place if blood comes into contact with undamaged skin. Infection
can only occur if blood containing hepatitis C penetrates the skin, for example
if there is a small wound.
protect yourself from other infectious diseases, you should avoid any direct
contact with blood in general.
should be taken with dried blood: the virus can survive outside the body for
several days, depending on the environment, and even longer under certain
conditions. How long the virus remains infectious during this time is not
absolutely clear. The use of an antiseptic disinfection agent or an alcohol
solution, e.g. 1-propanol, is recommended.
In medical settings
C can be transmitted through medical equipment that is not fully sterilised and
by the re-use of syringes, needles and other equipment.
practice of infection control measures in medical and dental settings is
essential for the prevention of hepatitis C transmission. All staff should
receive training in infection control and infection control performance should
be reviewed regularly to ensure that best practice is being followed.
control practices are designed to protect both patients and healthcare workers.
If you have any concerns about infection control practices as a patient do not
hesitate to raise your concerns with the medical staff treating you.
There is no vaccination against hepatitis C
vaccination is only possible against viral hepatitis A and B.
hepatitis A and B vaccines are also recommended for anyone with hepatitis C, as
an additional infection with these viruses could lead to more rapid progression
of hepatitis C infection.