The hepatitis C virus usually spreads through blood. The most common way that people get it is from injecting drugs -- especially when they share needles or syringes. But it's possible to get the disease through sex.
To lower your chances of getting the disease, avoid sex acts that could cause bleeding. These include using toys, having anal sex, and using drugs while having sex.
Don't have sex when you or your partner has your period or has genital sores.
Always use a condom when you have sex with a new partner.
What About Kissing?
Hepatitis C and HIV
Should You Get Tested?
The CDC recommends hepatitis C testing if you:
- Were born between 1945 and 1965.
- Ever injected drugs.
- Have HIV or AIDS.
- Were born to a mother who had hepatitis C.
- Were treated for a blood clotting problem before 1987.
- Got a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992.
- Ever had hemodialysis.
- Have abnormal liver tests or liver disease.
- Work in health care or public safety and were exposed to blood through a needle stick or other sharp object injury.
If you get tested and find out you have hepatitis C, tell your sex partner(s) and anyone else who may have been exposed to your blood, including through drug use.