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Could I Get Hepatitis C?

Who Should Get Tested?

Some doctors say you should get tested at least once no matter what. Definitely get screened if any of these things apply to you:

  • Had a blood transfusion before 1990
  • Are on kidney dialysis
  • Ever used IV drugs
  • Have high-risk sex (multiple partners, history of sexually transmitted diseases)
  • Live with or care for someone who has HCV
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965
  • Ever shared tools to snort cocaine

How to Lower Your Odds of Infection

There’s no effective vaccine against HCV. Take some precautions in high-risk situations. If you’re a health care worker, be careful with blood. If you have sex with more than one partner, use condoms. And if you use drugs, don’t share needles, syringes, or anything that goes up your nose.

Spouses, partners, and others in close contact with people who have hep C should not share toothbrushes and razors. If you have the disease, cover your wounds and throw out blood-soaked bandages, tampons, or pads. Don’t let anyone else in the house touch them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 10, 2014
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