Hepatitis C (Hep C or HCV) is a virus that infects and can damage the liver. It is passed from one person to another when the blood of a Hep C infected person enters the blood stream of another person through openings in the skin such as punctures, tears, cuts, or sores. Hep C can live outside of the body for many days.
Hepatitis C can become a chronic or lifelong infection and increases the risk for liver damage, cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer.
Hep C can be treated and cured! Learn more.
How do you prevent Hepatitis C?
There is no vaccine to prevent Hep C. You are never immune to Hep C.
Don't share any injection drug equipment including: needles, syringes, cotton, rinse water, cookers, spoons, straws or pipes or any other drug use supplies. If you are not ready to quit injecting, you can find new injection equipment at many locations in NYC.
- Don't share or reuse medical supplies such as diabetic needles or finger stick devices.
- Avoid sexual activity that involves the possibility of blood exposure and use condoms. You can get free NYC condoms at various locations.
- Do not share personal items that could have blood on them such as razors, clippers, or toothbrushes.
- Clean blood spills immediately with one part bleach and 10 parts water.