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Who Is at Risk for Hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C Testing Is Recommended for Anyone:

Hepatitis C Testing Is Recommended for Anyone:

1. With a history of blood transfusions before 1990

2. On kidney dialysis

3. With a history of IV drug use

4. With a history of high-risk sexual practices (multiple partners, history of sexually transmitted diseases)

5. Who is a spouse or close household contact of someone infected with HCV

6. Born between 1945 through 1965 should get a one-time test

7. Who shares instruments for snorting cocaine.

8. At least once in a lifetime as screening and a baseline test.

There is no effective vaccine against HCV. However, treatment with immunogobulin after exposure to hepatitis C, such as following a needle stick injury or sexual contact, may reduce the risk of HCV infection.

People in high-risk groups can take precautions to prevent HCV infection. Drug users should refuse to share needles, syringes, or intranasal devises. Health care workers should practice the universal precautions that reduce the risk of accidental exposure to blood products. People who have sex with multiple partners are advised to use condoms, but there is insufficient evidence to suggest the routine use of condoms for monogamous couples. Spouses and those in close contact with HCV-infected individuals should avoid sharing toothbrushes and razors. In addition, the infected partner should take care to cover wounds and dispose of blood-soaked bandages or tampons without exposing others in the household.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 10, 2014
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