Health & Medical Infectious Diseases

Preventing Hepatitis C

Updated June 08, 2015.

Hepatitis C infection is a worldwide problem that can easily become your problem, too. Over 3 million people in the United States already have hepatitis C and there are about 20,000 new infections each year. Astonishingly, about 170 million people in the world suffer from this easy-to-prevent infection. Since chronic hepatitis C can lead to many serious health problems, such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, it's important to know and understand how to protect yourself through prevention.

Who's Likely to Get Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus can infect anyone regardless of age, sex, orientation and lifestyle. Because of this, everyone needs to understand a little about hepatitis C prevention. However, some people have a higher chance of infection because of their lifestyle, job, or medical history. This means it's especially important for them to understand how hepatitis C spreads and what will prevent it. Some people think that only those who abuse IV drugs are at risk for HCV infection. While IV drug users are frequently infected, many other people are at risk for hepatitis C, too.

What Can and Can't Spread Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is one of those diseases most people don't really understand and they don't know a lot about how it spreads. Basically, anything that brings infected blood in contact with your blood can be an exposure. However, in reality, some things are known to be dangerous (like sharing used needles) while others are relatively safe (like kissing).

What Will and Won't Keep You Hepatitis C Free

Because there are four other hepatitis viruses, it's sometimes hard to keep the similarities and differences between them straight. Unfortunately, prevention from one type of viral hepatitis won't necessarily protect you from infection with hepatitis C.

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